[Bloggers In The Attic] Sunday Tea: Required Reading
The Bloggers in the Attic is a discussion chain. And what is a discussion chain? Well, it’s pretty simple and with few steps.
Me and other eleven bloggers united together to discuss a common topic, covering the whole arc of February, and sharing our unique perspective. I created the initiative with the wish to create a discussion space that could explore a normal topic for different part of the world.
The rules to participate are pretty simple. So, if you ever wish to take part in the future discussion, please just comment under Camilla’s introduction and first post. Every topic will be discussed bi-monthly, so the next round will be up in April. There’s plenty of time to join in, but the best option is always to enter early. Also, take a look to the group banner!
Learn more about Camilla’s discussion chain in her post (The Bloggers in the Attic ||Social issue and required reads in Italy) here! Also, don’t forget to check out the previous post in the chain from Isabelle @ Bookwyrm Bites and the next one on the 12th from Dany @ Dany’s Book Blog
The Journey Began With My Mom
Coming from a homeschooled than charter school background, required reading has been a part of my educational journey since I first began to learn to read. My parents (especially my Mom) were adamant that their children would learn to love the written word, and from a very young age we were handed books instead of games to pass away the boredom.
From Pre-K all the way to my sophomore year of High school I was homeschooled by my Mother along with my two other siblings. Due to this, my Mom assigned us from the moment we were getting hooked on phonics to monthly book reviews. We were required each month to read one book (at first of our own choosing unless we gave her sass, then she chose the book) and then write an essay/review about the book and what we got out of it.
Needless to say, I was not a fan.
I hated reading. I hated it to my very core, and my hatred to the act just got even more amplified when I was forced to read. If you can’t tell by now, out of my siblings and I–I was the one who got a book chosen for them every month. I hated the notion that we were forced to do something that we didn’t really want to do in the first place. I didn’t want to sit and read words, but rather I wanted to go outside and live those adventures through my imagination and then write them myself.
It wasn’t until I was 10 years old, that my Mom got fed up with my antics and shoved The Left Behind series at me and told me it was either the first book or the second book in the series. Those were my options and if I mouthed off I would have to read all 12 books in the series in one month and be grounded for another 3 months (yeah I was a shitty kid). Thinking I was being a rebel and sticking one to the man, I opted for book two. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that this book would open my eyes to the realms that reading had to offer.
I was hooked.
Required Reading Shaped Me For The Better
The reading bug hit me and I have never looked back since. Because of my Mom’s persistence with required reading, I fell in love with the magic of storytelling more so than I have had before.
When I entered regular school for the first time in my entire life in 10th grade, I was hesitant with the notion of being forced to do something that I didn’t want to again; however, the required reading I was given opened my eyes to different subjects and genres that I, personally, would have never read in the first place. It shaped not only the things that I read, but it also expanded my worldview and my perception of the world in ways that I couldn’t conceive without it. I fell in love with the Science Fiction that my father talked so fondly of when we watched television together. I fell in love with the writings of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe; the way that they interweaved societal issues within their stories, and used their talents to voice their opinion and their imagination.
The use of required reading in my educational journey as I took all AP English courses, pushed me to read outside of my comfort zone and put myself into worlds and perspectives that altered who I am today. Some of my greatest academic achievements were inspired by the works I was required to read. Such as my mini thesis on the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg from the Epic Moby Dick. My life’s dreams were inspired by the creations of Shakespeare, Homer, and Andrew Marvelle, as I fell in love with the stories they told through their novels, plays, and poems. Their adventures and raw emotion moved me to wanting to express those through theatre which led me to majoring in Drama, TV, Film performance with a minor in Screen and Play writing.
I am firm believer, that required reading is something that should be enforced in all academic circles, solely because of how much it shaped my life. Required reading gives us chance to try something we would never have tried before–opening a gate to new and wondrous things. I am glad for the experiences I had with required reading, both the good and the bad (looking at you, Great Gatsby) because it was those that made me obsessed with storytelling and gave me enough courage to tackle telling my own stories in hopes that what I have to say will change someone else like the ones before did for me.
What are your experiences with Required Reading? Do you think it should continue being implemented in schools?