In January Eli started bring home 4 books in a bag every Friday. The idea was for him to read all 4 books every day or for an adult to read a book to him.
We chose to have him read each book. We would help as needed but we wanted him to learn the words.
We figured out pretty quickly that he deduces a lot of a story from the pictures. I’m certain most kids do. But it always left me wondering if he was truly learning the words on the page or merely memorizing the story from the pictures.
He has lightening words that he has been working on throughout the school year. Words like “the”, “can”, “it”, you get the point. He could recognize those words pretty much anywhere. But, again, I really started to wonder if he was learning to read.
Today my agency held a book fair for Scholastic books. We hold it every 6 months and it’s always buy one get one free. I buy to support the agency but I also buy because it’s a damn good deal.
I was disappointed this year because many of the books were “preschool” books. I said something to the person running it. She shared that she opted for more preschool books because of the age group of children in our building. I agreed with her reasoning, but couldn’t help but be disappointed in the selection for my own kids.
I browsed around at the various shelves and came across a book titled Charlie’s Superhero Underpants. How appropriate for 2 boys. Pretty much anything with underwear in the title or within the context of the book was sure to be a winner in our house. And, we have a rule in our house, it doesn’t really matter what you’re reading, as long as you are reading.
I looked around some more and found a book about dealing with bullies. That pleased me considering how much it’s been on my mind lately!
I was content to pay and move on when I spotted a book by Tedd Arnold.
Shortly after Eli was born my sister had bought him a book called More Parts and was written by Tedd Arnold. The man is a genius. If you’re not familiar with him I truly recommend you check him out. The book my sister gave him was all a play on words related to body parts. Every time I pull it out the boys crack up.
Anyway, I grab this Tedd Arnold book only to discover that it’s a chapter book – 3 chapters to be exact. 30 pages as Eli would later point out. I flipped through the pages and was ecstatic to see that there was only a sentence or two on each page and that most of the words were words that Eli had been reading in his books in a bag since January. I quickly snatched it up.
I browsed some more and came across another easy reader that was going to be fantastic for Eli to work on reading this summer.
I arrived home this afternoon with books in hand. I nonchalantly laid them on the ottoman. Keegan noticed them first. Eli noticed this bright cover:
We sat down on the couch together and looked through it. He was so incredibly excited to try to read this book. And, it’s a chapter book! Amelia reads chapter books mommy! Now I can read one too!
Fly Guy was haphazardly added to the reading pile with his books in a bad. Eli took a quick shower and got into his jammies. He sat on his bed next to my honey to read his books in a bag. He demanded to read his chapter book. We “agreed” to one chapter each night before bed.
He started to read and I was blown out of the water! All those books in a bag I wasn’t sure he was reading? Boy did he show me that he’s been learning so much all along. He got upset if we didn’t let him sound out a word for a long enough period of time. Don’t help me mommy, mama, unless I ASK you to! And, there aren’t pictures that are really able enough to tell the story themselves, so he has to work harder to read the words.
He read the first chapter like a pro! And, wow, was it a cliffhanger leading into chapter 2!! He couldn’t wait. He had to read the first page of chapter 2.
Instantly my mind flashed forward to threatening him within an inch of his life to put the book down, turn out the light and get some sleep. I could see him with a flashlight under the covers reading rapidly in the hopes of finishing the next chapter before getting caught. I watched him in wonder and couldn’t help but smile.
Eli was pleased to see on the back of the book that there are other Fly Guy books out there. We agreed that they would make GREAT good behavior rewards this summer. He wants the whole library to keep on his bookshelf in his bedroom.
We have long worked to establish a love of reading in our home. We’ve read to the boys since before they were born. It’s so beautiful to see that our love of books has been transferred to our boys. And, it’s amazing to watch Keegan want to “read” Eli’s books and can’t wait to recognize words on his own.
I can hardly wait to hear them both reading me bedtime stories!