Archive for the ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ category

Raising A Reader

October 19, 2008

Okay….so I did everything right with this kid. Everything right that I would advise parents to do with their budding readers. I am a TEACHER, fer cripes sake. I KNOW what to do. I read to him from the very first day we got him. He had stacks of books at his crib side and then his bedside. We had a basket of books in the car. We had TONS of favorites. We used to write books together and illustrate them. We listened to music, sang along with the songs, played rhyming/letter sound games in the car. I invested in Sing Along video tapes that had the words running along the bottom of the television screen. We would read the backs of cereal boxes as we ate breakfast before school. I ‘modeled’ reading habits by daily reading of the newspaper, magazines and books myself. So how…just HOW….did I end up with a kid who hates to read?

Learning to read himself was a struggle. I know that. Just could not get the letter/sound hook back in Kindergarten and first grade. And then there was the time period when he was four and five when he would not allow me to read with ‘voices’ because it scared him. He took a particular liking to the DK books that focused more on pictures than words. Still loves’ em. His second grade teacher introduced him to research reading for report writing. He loved doing that. His third/fourth grade teacher read aloud book choices guaranteed to draw a laugh…and he loved that. HIs fifth grade teacher told me not to worry because his reading skills were in place. She didn’t enjoy reading herself so she was able to give me a new perspective. It still boggles me. How can you NOT enjoy reading?

He reads his Eurosport catalog from cover to cover when it arrives. He reads Sports Illustrated when he is in the bathroom. He has quite a collection of sports bios but I am not sure if he has managed to read any of them from cover to cover. He reads about other sports on line every evening before he goes to bed. I guess there is some hope……

However, he is in high school now and is required to read outside of the school day. They have a test on Mondays and a classroom discussion on Thursdays. Coupled with the drawing he is required to have in his sketch book on Wednesdays for his design class, our weekends are sometimes real battle grounds. VERY serious gnashing of the teeth and moaning and lamenting. And the book they are reading is Tuesdays With Morrie. Short. Sweet. Written by a sports writer. I gave six copies away as gifts for Christmas when it first came out. I love it. I thought he would love it as well. But alas, the words that get spewn around are things like ‘stupid’ and ‘who cares?’ I finally had to decide that it was going to have to be read together if it was to be read at all. I bought a copy for his dad. They are reading it together….when I remind them that it needs to be done. I’m saving MY participation for the next novel battle. If he thinks reading a short, moving book about a man’s ongoing relationship with his dying teacher is ‘inconsequential’……just wait till we have to tackle To Kill A Mockingbird. And it’s one of my absolute favorites. Heh.

Just got his report card. That English Lit class?? He has an ‘A-‘ and his grade was followed with ‘Outstanding performance’ and ‘Outstanding attitude’ comments. Go figure……