Saturday, April 4, 2009

Raising a Reader

Every parent has one deep fear about their child. They may worry that they can't provide for them, or that they won't be a good athlete, or that they'll run off and join the circus. My fear has always been that my child will not like to read. If he couldn't read for some reason, it would be okay, but if he didn't like to read? That's a completely different story.

As a classroom teacher, I encountered a few parents who bemoaned the fact that even though they had read to their child when they were little and they could read just fine, they still didn't like to read. I can't remember what I told them, most likely because any time I heard something like this, I would start to feel queasy and worry if this was something that was catching. It just got worse after I actually got pregnant.

As Jennie Nash writes in Raising a Reader,

"Reading is a particularly slippery passion to want to pass along because it's a skill that most parents would agree their children have to master, to one degree or another. It's part of the basic kid curriculum; so if you're pushing reading, you're not being a pushy parent, you're just doing your job."

But I'm trying to take it easy. And so far, it's working. Jack loves books and he loves words. And I'm trying to make him love meeting authors and illustrators. This morning we went to a book signing to meet Mike Wimmer and get his new book.
I got to sound like a big freaky stalker when I told Mike Wimmer about going to his house twelve years ago and how we had so many of his books. I'm pretty cool.

Hopefully Jack will continue to love books and reading, and I'm just hoping he's better at reading for detail than I am. Below: the bracelet I put on Jack when we arrived at the museum. Any guesses as to who was wearing the CHILD bracelet?


Amber said...

Alyssa (age 8) had no desire to read. I spent PreK and K pulling my hair out b/c she just didn't care and I was worried if she wasn't reading by the time she was 6, she never would! To save my sanity, I left her alone. I read aloud just once a day, we didn't work on phonics. Most of K was spent on math, b/c that is what she liked. Somewhere in the middle of first grade, she started to read. By the end of first grade, she could read on a third grade level. She is a great reader, but she really isn't a fan. It's not her first choice of activities. I am hoping over time, that will change! It seems that Aniston is following in Alyssa's footsteps. She used to love books, but not so much anymore. It makes me sad. :-(

Christy said...

My boys love thank goodness! Zach, who is 5 going on 6 in May, in half day kindergarten is READING....and doing reaading comprehension questions for homework. I think that is a bit extreme for kindergarten but when I see him sound out words and then completely understand the story, I see why they are pushing them so hard, so early.