I just wanted to quickly wish everyone a Happy New Year, and to remember to keep raising readers, no matter where that may take you and your reader(s)!
In 2018 I gave into Harry Potter (really the fantasy genre as a whole) and developed a true appreciation for graphic novels. As a result, my kiddos continue to grow as readers and as educated citizens in general, even though that’s probably not the path I would have taken to get them there. But that’s the power in giving them choice–as long as I keep an eye on the long term goal (to enjoy books), it has been less of a headache for me and them to let them take the lead as often as I can.
So if you haven’t tried letting them take the lead, take this new year as an opportunity to let them lead the way!
I’ve written multiple times about my kids’ attachment to Harry Potter for two main reasons, 1) I didn’t see it coming and had NO IDEA it would be this addictive for them and 2) it pushes me as a parent to support something my kids adore that I have no interest in. You can read my previous posts here,here, and also here (good grief that’s a lot of HP!).
So what do I mean when I say that Harry has invaded our holidays? Well, naturally, since they are obsessed, my kids have decided to represent their perspective Hogwarts houses (Hufflepuff and Slytherin) for Halloween. This was not my first choice, but they were both pretty adamant about it, and finding the costumes was simple, so we were good to go.
Now, I like to start my Christmas shopping early, that way I can space it out and I’m not overspending. Since we borrowed books from either a friend or the library, my daughter only owns a couple of the Harry Potter books. From my readings about HP fans, it appears that many of them read the books over and over again, not to mention that she’s already reread parts of the ones she owns. With that and the fact that there’s these new 20th anniversary cover versions, I’m thinking that I’ll get her a complete set.
However, as I was looking through the Scholastic Reading Club flyer, I also noticed the illustrated versions and began to second guess myself. Should I get her the nice big illustrated ones, even though we can’t get all of them yet? Or should I stick with my original idea?
I came up with what I think is a compromise. I’m sticking with my original plan for her, but I think I’m going to get my son the illustrated version of the first book. He’s “read” the books, but in all honesty I know he hasn’t read every word like my daughter has. I also know that he loves illustrations of any kind, so he would be all about this version. I’m not committed enough to buy more than one of the illustrated ones, but I think this is the route I’m going to go.
I say all this to say, my commitment is to #RaisingReaders. And for me that means buying costumes and books, and whatever else I need to in order to keep them as active readers, even if its for a series I have no interest in.
I’ll admit, I don’t understand the pull of Harry Potter. I read the first one with my daughter, but was able to stop after finishing, whereas she was not. Since then, she has been talking about the characters with her friends who are also reading it and recommending the series to anyone who hasn’t. Also, she got her brother into it and he knows what’s going on through the movies and audiobooks. They even “play” Harry Potter, casting spells on each other. She does her best to keep me up to speed with all that’s going on, although I don’t understand much of it any more.
One of my daughter’s goals this summer was to finish the Harry Potter series, and book #5 has been quite the feat. Three check-outs and renewals from the library later…
I’ll be honest, I never experienced anything like it during my childhood reading, so I continue to be impressed by it all. Although this series is not for everyone, there’s some sort of magnetic force that pulls the reader in, so if you need something to hook you child in, Harry Potter may be worth a try.
*Side note: If you haven’t already, enter my giveaway that ends at midnight on 7/6/18! Enter here!
My daughter and I recently finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and you can read about our experience here. Now since fantasy isn’t really my genre of choice, I was super excited to be able to say, “We’ve read Harry Potter!” However, my child’s response was, “No mom, we’ve only read the first book!” Ugh!
So this past Saturday at Target…
She read it in the store, in the car on the way home, some more when we got home…and so it continues…
I’m not suggesting that you read Harry Potter with your child, but I’m letting you know, that if you start…you may not be allowed to stop. It could be a way to get your child into reading. Just a thought.
For almost 8 years now, I have read a book to at least one of my children before bed. Not every night, but most nights. And I’ve always wanted to have one of those special peaceful moments where I had to stop reading because my child had fallen asleep. You know, where you have gently close the book and then tip-toe out of the room so you don’t wake them up. But in 8 years, I have yet to have one of those moments. But last night…I came close.
I consider myself to be a voracious reader, especially of #kidlit, but I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter series. I know, I know, shocking. It’s really just not in my genre of choice, wizards aren’t my favorite, plus its really long…my excuses are endless. However, thanks to some persistent 3rd graders, their teacher, and more importantly, the picture book version, I have started reading Harry Potter with my daughter.
When we started, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting her to stick with it. However, the more I think about it, the more I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering the fact that she has been enjoying the How To Train Your Dragon series. But we’ve been reading a chapter a night, and just yesterday she said, “Are you enjoying Harry Potter? ‘Cause I am enjoying it.” (Yes, yes I think I am, but not ready to say the words out loud just yet.)
So last night we got all settled in and ready to read. My 8 year old actually got under the covers and laid down, which should’ve been my first sign–usually she’s sitting next to me, even if its a chapter book with no pictures. Now we’re still pretty early in the book, Harry hasn’t even arrived at Hogwarts yet, but she keeps asking questions and making sure she’s getting it. Then she got quiet…and I looked over and the eyelids were a little heavy, but I could still see her eyes. I read a little further, and she asked another question, which kinda made her more alert. She never closed her eyes again, but she was clearly tired when I stopped for the evening and fell asleep soon after I left. Who knew that Harry Potter would be the one to send her to dreamland?!
So whatever your #RaisingReaders goal may be, if its just sending your child off to sleep with dreams of whatever you finished reading or getting your child out of their comfort zone, keep at it. You never know which character is going to be the one that will make your #RaisingReaders dream come true!
*Side note: I totally recommend the picture book version of Harry Potter if you are at all hesitant about it. The pictures help me to visualize things I think I would struggle with otherwise.