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What is your RQ?

August 30, 2011

What's in Your Wallet?

Fathers, here is a simple three question quiz:

1.  What book are you reading now?

2. How many books have you read in the last year?

3. When is the last time you used a library card or bought a book?


If the answer to these questions is “Does the sports page count as a book?”, “none” and “I can’t remember”, then we have a problem.  I am going to tell it to you straight.  I have been an educator for 23 years.  There are two basic types of students, those who read and those who do not.  Readers do better grade wise in school and much better on standardized tests.  There is a widening gulf today between those who do not do any leisure reading and those who read regularly.  Here is something to chew on.  Those who do 1 minute of leisure reading a day score in the bottom 10% on standardized tests.  Conversely, those who do just 21 minutes of leisure reading a day score in the top 10% on standardized tests.

Are kids doing less leisure reading today than 20 years ago?  Yes.  This is particularly true with boys, where gaming systems have replaced reading to a large degree. Boys are twice as likely to fail classes, get suspended and not graduate from high school than girls.  Did you know that 58% of entering college freshmen were girls last year, that is startling.  I am pumped that girls are doing that well, but our boys are falling off the map.

Why is this?  In large part, because boys do not read nearly as much as girls.  Girls read more, pick up more vocabulary, comprehend more, score better on standardized tests and do better overall in school than boys.

So, what is my point?  Men, we have to set the example in our house for our children (especially our boys) by reading ourselves.  Turn off the “idiot box” and walk away from the social media (except important blogs 🙂 ) and get out a book.  Reading to our children is not “mommy’s job”.  Dive into The Foot Book or Goodnight Moon and pick up a novel or biography for yourself.  We cannot expect our children to take reading seriously if they never see us read.  The whole “do as I say, not as I do” thing does not work with this generation.  We need to lead by doing.  Our RQ (Reading Quotient) and our kids’ futures are positively correlated.

In case your wondering, my answers to the quiz are “Dream Culture”, about 14-15 and last week.

Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL. Contact him

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    August 31, 2011 9:30 am

    Another good blog, Pat……sure is interesting about these scores between the readers and the gamers. Keep up this interesting work… have a lot to give us!!!!

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