Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Raising a Reader

I've been trying to get my 11-year old to enjoy reading more. I always read to him when he was little. I insist that he gets to bed early enough every night so he can read for at least 1/2 hour. Though he gets good grades in school, he's not the fastest reader, therefore doesn't enjoy reading. I tried to explain to him that it just takes practice, and that books are usually better than the movies. He doesn't believe me.

My oldest loves to read. She's read so much, that she found that there's very few books that she doesn't like. I think the main reason is because I read TONS of books to her when she was little. I had a lot more time back then. We went to the library every week, listened to story time, and got a huge pile of books. Every afternoon we'd sit down and read a stack of them. Every night we'd read between 6-10 books. When she got older, I still read to her. I read lots of the American Girl books. She used to get so excited. I loved them too. I'm proud of her. Right now she has an unofficial "book club" with her friends. They each buy a book, read it, then trade them with each other. Tonight we're meeting her friends at Border's so I can buy the new Grisham book (yea!) and she and her friends can buy their books. I think that's pretty cool for 14-year olds!

With each kid I had, it seems that I read with them less. My husband and I still read to the youngest two, but with boy scouts, basketball practice, and picking up kids from wherever they are, sometimes we're lucky just to read one book. I want my youngest to be a big reader as my oldest is, so I decided I'm going to start reading to her more. I'm going to read books every afternoon, and really try to read more than one book at night.

My 11-year old is reading Swiss Family Robinson now. He told me he only likes funny books. The other night he didn't have anything to read, so we went into my daughter's "library", and I picked out Swiss Family Robinson for him. He said, "Oh, I love that movie!". I told him, "Then read the book! The books are always so much better." He agreed to try it. Later that night, when I was putting my other son to bed, I asked him how his book was. He gave me a thumbs up. I told him, "Now you have another type of book that you like!". He said, "Yeah, adventure books!". Hopefully his enthusiasm will last. I'm not going to give up on this. Does anyone have any ideas for some good books for boys?

Cathy from A Bit of the Blarney gave me this award! This really made my day! Cathy is my newer bloggy friend. I enjoy reading her blog.

The rules:By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want-even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.

I will give it to all my "Amy" friends: Amy, Amy, and Amy, Shellie, Kidzmama, OHMommy, Burgh's Baby Mom, Leah, Bia, and Kimmy. Thank you Cathy!


OHmommy said...

Awwww..... thanks. I love awards! Thanks for thinking of me!

Everytime I read your blog I take mental notes of what I need to do when the kiddos get older. You have so mnay good ideas.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Congratulations and thanks! Your blog is one that I truly enjoy reading. Thankfully my folks raised me to be a reader (or maybe it is just who I am--either way, I love to read!).

Amy said...

thanks so much, maria. i am honored! i love your common sense approach to parenting, and i enjoy your blog.

as for reading.... so far john simply enjoys reading. we really didn't have to do that much other than encouragement and reading to him from early on.

as for matthew... i hope thing go the same way, but i know all kids are different. he may need more coaxing!

Anonymous said...

To encourage my kids to read, we make two trips to library each month. Zach usually get about 15 books on topics that he's interested in. We actually have to track what he reads and how long he reads for school.

Oh, and I've high-fived you over on my blog!

Amy said...

Do you think "Amy" was a popular name in the 70's? LOL

Thanks so much for the award. I can't wait to post it and pass it on.

I love that your kids enjoy reading. My love for reading started at your daughters age and continues today. I would rather read a book than watch TV any day!

-Amy (the third)

girlymom said...

Congrats on your awards! I just posted about reading and you just gave me a lot of great ideas! Thank you!

kimmy said...

Thank you so much for the award! I love getting these surprises!


Kellan said...

My twins (15 years old) LOVE to read and buy books by the dozens every month. My 10 year old son, on the other hand, has not loved to read as much, until this past year - finally. It sure makes a difference when they enjoy reading - doesn't it.

Congrats on the most Excellent award! Have a great Tuesday - see you soon. Kellan

Kitty said...

Congratulations on the award Maria. My son doesn't like reading nearly as much as his sister - but he did skip through the Horrid Henry books. These are probably a bit young for your 11 year old though. x

Jen said...

I've noticed that I read about the same amount to my youngest as to my oldest (I have 2 kids) the difference is that with my oldest we spent a lot of time on board books and very simply baby books. My daughter at the same age listened to Fox on Socks because that was what my older son was reading. However, now she's 3 and listens to stories with no pictures. At the same age my DS never would have done that.

Shellie said...

I feel so honored! Except I'm so new to this, I don't know how to take the award. Help! As for the reading, I read a LOT to my first. We always checked out tons of books from the library and collected books. Then she went to school, and she didn't learn to read. She was dyslexic and the school did their best to make it impossible to help her. (I am still bitter!) So I still read to her. But she is finally learning to read more on her own. We have found her problems are mostly tracking problems and lack of practice because of the frustration of not being able to keep the words from swimming around the page. Reading large print double spaced with sunglasses on does the trick. My boys wouldn't sit still long enough to show them a book when smaller, and one struggles with reading too, but I look for things that interest him and just keep insisting he make the time to read. Sometimes we take turns every other page. As for boys, maybe something like the Spiderwick Chronicles? I've never read them but my nephews like them. Or maybe some other classics like Robinson Crusoe. We read a book called The Cay by Theodore Taylor and it's sequel Timothy of the Cay when my daughter was about that age, and both my son and daughter read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and it has sequels. Or maybe go with the read the book of the movies he liked that are based on books. It is hard to find time to read to everyone now and we have a hard time finishing chapter books, we get distracted. Sigh!

Dawn said...

Congrats on the award. My daughter is listening to Swiss Family Robinson right now on her MP3 at night and she loves it. When you asked for book suggestions for your 11 year old, and said he liked adventure, I first thought of Moccasin Trail. I read it to my daughter this year and we both enjoyed it, but I'm thinking a boy might like it even more.

KIDZMAMA said...

You are so sweet to give me an award! Thank you, thank you!

Our nine year old has no problem in the reading category. She reads at least ten books a week. The seven year old boy is a whole 'nother story. He reads very well but has limited interests. Mostly non-fiction.

I know you're a new reader to me, but I wrote about this exact topic back in November (http://notaspareminute.blogspot.com/2007/11/reading-is-fundamental.html). Check it out!

Thanks again for the award.

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Hi, Maria!

Congrats on the Excellent award, very much deserved!

My son is 12 and he has been reading the Lemony Snicket series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. He really seems to like them and says they're funny and mysterious. What I like about them is the fact that when he's done with one, he can't wait to move on to the next one. We don't go through that whole, "Now what am I going to read?" thing anymore. (of course, not that he couldn't read something else, but so far he hasn't wanted to) We'll see how long it lasts!


denise said...

If you want to borrow my copy of the new Grisham book let me know. I also read James Patterson. Since you and your sister got me into Grisham I have moved on to Patterson. He is now my favorite. If you haven't already read him let me know and you can borrow mine. I love him the best!

girlymom said...

I'm going to hold you to my challenge...get that camera out and post away!!! :)

Karen said...

I love that you're trying so very hard to instill reading into your kids. It seems to be succesful!

I'm not sure if it's too young or not, but some great boy books are the Captain Underpants series.

Congrats on the well-deserved award!

Bia said...

you know, we have the very same problem...my oldest is an avid reader, but our middle son (he's 11like your son) has to be convinced to start a book. but you are right in that the later children don't seem to get the same amount of reading time (i'm trying to correct that problem with my toddler).

thank you so much for the award! Lisa over at Are We There Yet gave me this, too, and to be given it twice in one day...well, it made my week! Mille grazie (a thousand times, thank you!)

Amy said...

wow! Maria thanks so much! It's hard to get my boys to read, especially my youngest.It's hard for me to accept because I love books... But for my 12 year old, he really liked the Eragon series, (there are 3), Harry Potter of course, Soldier X, Soldier's Heart (both of those are a little violent they are about boys who served in war true stories) He also loves comic books (or graphic novels LOL) but you wouldn't believe how these have changed over the years they're really good! For my youngest...(9) we try alternative books lol..right now he's reading the 2008 Guiness Book of World Records..LOL.. Last week it was a Dorling Kindersly Book about different religions (lots of pictures but lots of info too)these are fun and he's reading!!

Lester R.N. said...

I am glad your kids like to read. I love to read any type of mystery book! I try so hard to read to Owen but he just tries to rip the pages or throw the book completely! Maybe when he gets older he will like to be read to! Have a great week!

Don Mills Diva said...

Reading is so crucial - I remember reading Swiss Family Robinson and loving it, can't wait to read it with my son.

Found you via Buttermom - great blog!

Flea said...

I think it's also partly a difference between boys and girls. My older boy loves the Chronicles of Narnia, and he just discovered Alice in Wonderland (the book is awesome), and he's nearly 14. My 10 year old son LOVES the Captain Underpants series - it's what really jump started his reading. He also loves to check out the books on CD at the library.

You never know what will spark their interest. Older boy also loves the stupid Cat Who mysteries, with Quileran. Go figure.

Amy said...

Hi! I found you through OHMommy. I also have four kids, about the same ages of yours, except mine are all girls! It's so true what you said about the reading. Luckily the older ones help out with reading to the younger ones so hopefully they are all developing their love of reading!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

This is a really helpful post ... I was the one who hated to read and my brother was the one who loved it. He's the oldest and was taken to the library all the time. He still goes and takes his kids now. I am trying hard to start off right with my baby. Maybe it will rub off on me, too! ;)

Great blog you have here!