Thursday, March 15, 2012

Raising Readers

Last night as the Trucker was falling asleep, listening to a bedtime story of his own by way of the baby monitor, I was reminded of the joys of reading.

Both of my boys are avid readers. They have always been ahead of the pack in their reading skills. Last night, I saw the spark in the Angel Baby's eyes as we read Green Eggs And Ham together. This was the first time she really sat and looked at every page with me. She sat and listened to the story, pointing out things in the pictures as I read about them. She didn't try to turn the pages hastily, she didn't take the book out of my hands. She truly enjoyed the book.

I've been lost in books over the last few months and sometimes I forget that I need to read out loud with them more often. I have taken that time for granted in a way, as the boys have grown older and less interested in my story telling. I have had many nights recently that ended at 3 a.m. simply because I could NOT put that book down. I am loving every second of it. 

I have noticed a difference in my writing as well, I know that reading is a vital tool in developing good writing habits. I find my mind wandering and my creativity growing. I also find my happiness growing and my stress levels decreasing. Sometimes escape from the real world is a solution to the problems we face. Sometimes I just worry too much about things I can not control, reading makes the rushing thoughts stop.

Macboy is stuck a little between books, he's not sure what type of books he wants to read.  I've gotten him an E-reader now and taught him how to download books from the library. He loves this, but still has a hard time choosing what he'd like.

Little Art - not so little anymore - is reading a lot lately too. He's just about caught up to all the books that Macboy has read and he's four years younger. I think he'll be reading the same things as I am, very soon.  They have a leveled reading program at the school for all kids enrolled. Art is currently half way through next year's books. 

The frustrating part of this leveled reading stems from the teachers not wanting the children to read beyond their capacity. They do not want the kids to get too far ahead and thus, hold them back on a lower level for much longer than they really need. Practice is practice, yes. But if there is no challenge in it, don't we all lose interest?  This afternoon, I will be meeting with his teacher to discuss it. I know that the school would like to see him have a few books unread from the reading program next year, so I'm going to propose we read books of our own choosing for a while. 

I know that Art's comprehension is beyond a grade 2 level by quite a bit. I know that if he is held back on anything, he will resist. We have read together through relatively large novels in the past, whether taking turns reading or jumping ahead on our own. I think he is capable and willing, and definitely ready.

What is your favorite book to read with your child? 
Have you ever tried a novel together?  
Can you recommend some titles that might be of interest to 8-12 year olds?

Comment here, or give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter. We certainly can't run out of things to read!

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