Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Don’t Kill Their Reading Joy

My 6 year old son is convinced he can read chapter books. If you’re familiar with my blog, then you probably know that he once proclaimed, “I’m not afraid of chapter books!”, which was wonderful…then.

Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a pretty good reader, and right now he’s still ahead of the game. But at their first trip to the school library, he picked a book to check out that was WAY above his reading level. I mean, we’re talking close to my reading level. Fine, whatever, the logical side of me knows that choice is important, yada, yada yada. However, my problem comes in when he tells me he’s reading it, and he’s clearly NOT. 

Me banging my head against the wall.

Each day he would come home and tell me how many pages or chapters he read on the bus, and I know, I should focus on the fact that he’s choosing to read on the bus. However, when I asked him what the book was about, in my nice teacher voice mind you, the response was most often something close to, “I don’t want to tell you about that right now.”  What?! Who says that? Only my child.  And when I offered to read it at bedtime, he didn’t want to because, “he was already reading it”. It got super frustrating for me, but because I didn’t want to kill his joy, but it was grating at me that he wasn’t really reading his library book.  It was taking everything in me to not make him read it out loud to me so I could “prove” that he wasn’t reading it. Luckily, in steps my daughter…

One night while we were preparing for our bedtime reads, my son came in my daughter’s room saying that he was finished with his book and needed something to read from her shelf while he was falling asleep.  While the initial suggestion was Super Fudge, she ended up giving him a book from the Press Start series, which is much closer to his actual reading level. The kicker was as he was leaving she (with no prodding from me) says, “Yes, you can take that one, and make sure you pay attention and actually read it, ’cause I want you to tell me about the book tomorrow!” Then she whispers to me, “You know mom, he wasn’t really reading that other book.”  No reply from me, just a compliment that the book she let him read was a good choice for him. But in my mind, I was giving her a high five and doing my happy dance.

These Branches books from Scholastic are wonderful for the transition to chapter books.

Now, let’s be clear–this was no miracle moment where he realized the error of his ways and now only reads books that he actually understands. He does better, but its definitely a work in progress. I’m was just happy that 1) they were sharing books and 2) that at least 1 child has been listening to me. 🙂

So, in your #RaisingReaders quest, remember that although it may be difficult, don’t kill the joy your child may have reading…just get their sibling to do it for you. 😉

One reply on “Don’t Kill Their Reading Joy”

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