Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to Raise a Reader

I love to read. Perhaps I've mentioned that before.

But I've always worried that my own love of reading (and that of my husband) would not be enough to create little readers.

Our oldest loves to read. He's 8 years old, and he's zipping through books. He has read some of the Harry Potter books, he's read the Little House books, and he's currently devouring every Encyclopedia Brown book I can get him.

Sounds good, right? But it's not enough for this Ima. Now that I've created one reader, I'm onto the next...and it seems to be working pretty well!

We are trying the same path with Sam as we did with David, and it seems to be following quite the same course. Nevertheless, it still makes me giggle with delight that he's so into the books we're introducing. What's the secret we've found? The Magic Tree House books.

David loved them and now Sam does too. I can't quite figure out what the draw is, except that there are a lot of them, and they have various topics that are all interesting to little boys. (We haven't quite gotten Yael on the Magic Tree House bandwagon yet, but as you'll see, she's doing fine on her own as well.)

We are currently spending a brief amount of time visiting my parents. When I say brief, I mean that we will be home before Shabbat. Less than 4 days will be spent away from home.

Sam packed some cars:

But he also packed some books:

And when we arrived, he laid them all out on the floor. To be fair, the top row (7 books) were packed by Yael with help from her Abba. But the other row, the long row, with about 20 books, was packed entirely by Sam himself.

Think he brought enough?

David packed about 8 books. (And I threw in 2 extras for him in my bag.)

And what about me? Four.

Guess it just runs in the family!


Leora said...

I cannot keep up with the books my 15 year old son reads. Just you wait...

Love the idea of raising these book lovers! Three cheers for you!

EdibleTorah said...

I think ultimately the key is to keep providing opportunities to read, and to create an environment where each reader is permitted to select topics that suit them, when they suit them. And when you realize something works for them, run with it.

My 7 year old became facinated with Spiderman. Out came my old boxes of comics, and once we read those together we "discovered" that the library had a whole section for graphic novels.

My daughter fell in love with Junie B. Jones, and so that was the gift of choice for birthdays and holidays until she had the set.

Right now I'm reading Orson Scott Card's "Seventh Son" series with my 9 year old, which is translating into an interest in the Little House books because the setting is so similar.

I think that reading WITH them is also key. When the kids see that I'm enjoying reading to them, and it's not a chore, it puts reading in a whole different light.

Great post, wonderful topic, and yasher koach for raising readers!

Rivster said...

I want to know which 4 you brought with you!!!!!

I too am a serious reader. From a family of serious readers. We take our reading very seriously. And my kids have always been surrounded by books. One of the many activities with which Beernut (who has High-Functioning Autism) struggles is reading. And that is hard for my family sometimes.

And hard for me too...


Anonymous said...

I really have struggled with my son not liking books so much. Then suddenly this past year or so, he has gotten into reading. I don't know why nor do I talk to him about it. I just buy books for me...make sure he knows they're wicked cool and MINE (not really)...and next thing I know he is reading them. He also has asked for books and when he does, I get them. For my T-day trip, my boyfriend Kindle is in my knitting bag as we speak :)