Sunday, April 7, 2013

Little Readers

I've bemoaned the fact that my boys are reluctant readers here on my blog in several posts - I've struggled through the years trying to find books to catch their interest. I'm not sure WHAT happened recently, but we're actually having some success (with the younger ones anyway)!

I know right when it began ... Parent/Teacher conference. Keaton surprised me with the "Darth Paper Strikes Back" (the sequel to "Origami Yoda" which he said he enjoyed, but took him months to get through). He'd checked it out from the school library.  There is always a school book fair there during PT Conferences, and we saw the third book in the series, and I told Keaton I would buy it for him. I told the little boys they could pick out a book too. Both Cooper and Colton picked a "Big Nate" book (Cooper said he had been reading them at school and liked them). They are a cross between "Wimpy Kid" and "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoons ... I didn't realize it until today, but Big Nate comics are in our newspaper! I pointed it out to Cooper.

The next few days after getting the books, I'd find the two boys READING. Keaton was going crazy for the origami featured in his books, but he was actually reading too (he's finished "Darth Paper" and moved on to the next book).  I had been reading the "Magic Treehouse" series to the boys (a chapter in the morning before school) but Colton thought he could probably read them on his own at this point.  We've moved on to reading "Origami Yoda" as our morning read, and Colton has been devouring many in the Magic Treehouse series. Cooper finished his Big Nate book.

I still don't know if it's an actual love of reading, of getting lost in the story and discovering new things ... or just recording the "reading minutes" and finishing a book. But whatever it is I'll take it! Colton has been reading a Magic Treehouse book a day!  I've even quickly read his book myself (it takes me 10-15 minutes) and then we'll "discuss" it, so I'm sure he understands (and has actually read it like he said).  While my boys (the bigger ones) have always tested on/above reading level, comprehension has always been a bit of a problem. I've been impressed with Colton's understanding of his stories.

I had started a GoodReads account for the BlackhamBoys, so I that I could keep track of what we had read (and what we had on hand, and what was available at the library, as well as checking reviews and writing our own reviews) and it's actually been getting a lot of action lately. 

I even took the two little boys to the library and got them their own library cards! They each checked out a book, and I showed them how we can request books (if the other branches have them but ours doesn't) and have them on hold for us when we come in. I also showed them the digital options (almost all the Magic Treehouse books are available for immediate digital download, many in audio too).  I love reading on my Iphone (both boys have ipods if they wanted that option). 

I hope it sticks. I'm a little worried with some off-track time coming up ... we always he "off track" during off track time. You would think it would be easier to get more reading in (as the kids have more time not having school) but it just doesn't work out that way.

It's been so fun to see my boys catch the reading bug!

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