Balance: In Reading
I have always been a reader- well at least up until I had kids anyway. Now I read for myself when I can, but usually I am reading for or to the kids. But that isn't the point....
There are so many different books out there- both fiction and non- some of which I would like my kids to read and some I would rather steer clear and avoid altogether.
My kids are not exactly avid readers. They are avid listeners. And they enjoy reading picture books to themselves, but the key there is the pictures. But when it comes to chapter books there have been few that grab their attention enough to make them want to read, to themselves, outside of the their required 30 minutes a day. I have hopes for Cohen and Lakin- who can't quite read long, picture-less books yet. Cohen will sit down and read chapter books- at least the words he can.
So when my oldest found the Horrible Harry books- which are not exactly literature, but not too bad- I was happy that he was reading for pleasure. When Paul and the boys read the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, I was equally pleased. They were reading!
For school reading I require 2 things-
1. Read 30 minutes a day. I do encourage the older 2 to read novels as opposed to picture books.
2. Read a novel of my choice once a month. These are ones I ask questions about as they read 1 chapter a day.
These are more carefully selected. More classic. More substance. They hate the questions, because they tend to not read very carefully, but they usually enjoy the books.
But in the name of balance, in the name of reading, I now have 2 books I always swore I would never have in my house sitting in our book basket.
And that is okay. I read my fair share of non-literature growing up. When I was Rylan's age I lived on R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike books. And I am okay. I still turned into a teen who asked for a dictionary (think big, 20 lb Webster's dictionary) for Chirstmas. And while I spent a lot of time reading V.C. Andrews I also spent a lot of time reading Anne Tyler.
There is a place in the world for all books. Either for learning, entertainment or just escape reality and get lost in a world not your own. And it's okay that my oldest has read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants over and over in the past couple weeks because he's also been pouring over an illustrated version of Beowulf and just started reading The Book of Three. Balance.