In this house we read. A lot. I have a kindle, my honey has a kindle, we have the kindle app on the iPad. We have enough books in our house to start our own mini library. I love, Love, LOVE Scholastic book orders for their great deals on amazing books and have fallen in love with their reading app Storia, same great deals on ebooks.
We have read to the boys since before they were born. Lots of our favorites, lots of classics. As they got older and started reading more on their own we opened up their world to whatever triggered their fancy. Why should I limit what they read? I wouldn’t want that done to me!
Over the past couple of years we have been entertained by Batman and Spiderman and Fly Guy and Scooby Doo and The Magic Tree House kids and, more recently, Captain Underpants. Many of these were most certainly not my top choice but they excited the little boys of our house so I couldn’t complain.
Every time I turn around I see Eli with a book. Some of this is because he has to read at least 20 minutes to earn any sort of video game time. Most of it is because he just really loves to read. The challenge for Eli is to get him to read something, anything, new. Once he has mastered a book he wants to read it over and over and over and over. I know that this is not a bad thing but I don’t want him stuck in a rut. So at least once a week I invoke the rule that he must read something brand new. And, periodically, I rotate out books from upstairs to downstairs so that he has something new to pick from. It’s not usually a huge battle but it can occasionally take its toll.
Keegan is completely opposite. It is like pulling teeth to get that child to pick up a book of any kind. We spoke to his teacher at conferences because we can NEVER get him to read without a fight. Mind you, he has the same reading and video game rule as Eli and the kid is TOTALLY addicted to video games. His teacher said that he is always asking to read during free choice time. She said it’s rare to see him without a book in his hand. This made me feel a lot better but I also found it a little frustrating. What is so different at home? To this day I cannot answer that question.
I find that I can get him to read a little easier by telling him he can read on the iPad – either Kindle or Storia. Still he gravitates toward the easiest of books that he can read in a matter of minutes. Books that he has pretty much memorized because there is only a sentence or two on each page. Books that are way behind his reading level. Books that don’t challenge him in the slightest. Every now and again I’m fine with this. We all need a level of comfort. But, I feel the need to push him. The challenge is that even the smallest push makes the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima look like daisies. The tantrum that ensues is insanely reminiscent of howler monkey Jack from Will and Grace. He spouts decibel levels my ears are incapable of hearing. Still, I push because I know it is good for him.
Most days I rise to meet these challenges that my boys toss at me. Occasionally I let them go and drop the fight. Every day we inch forward at a snail’s pace. Every day I long for the day when I have to threaten to take Keegan’s books away because he won’t put them down and go to bed. It will arrive… Someday…