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Friday, January 21, 2011

Bookworm genes: They have been passed on!

I have to toot my own horn here just a little bit. I posted sometime last year about the reading "program" we're doing here. Which is actually a non-existent program. Ryan had become so stressed out about reading that I decided we would just back off and let him take the lead. We have a million books around the house, we read to whoever asks, and we let the kids see us reading for fun. Last year, I did assessments on the older two kids, and both are reading above their grade level. The lack of pressure about reading brought Ryan out of his shell eventually. First he started reading comics, like Calvin and Hobbes, and now he's reading books. He's read a bunch of a condensed classics series. It includes things like "Sherlock Holmes" and "Treasure Island". He's now beginning the Harry Potter series. He actually *likes* reading.

Lindsay has been interesting to watch. We started this "hands off" approach to reading when she was kindergarten aged. Basically, it was either going to really work, or really not. She was stubborn about reading for me, so I backed off just like I did with Ryan. I thought maybe she hadn't been ready yet. A few months later, still concerned because I thought she couldn't read, I heard her curled up in a corner with Logan. She was reading a book to him. One with words like "beautiful", and she read through it just fine. So not only could she read, but she could read WELL.

Lindsay has fallen into a love of reading even more than Ryan has. It's been thrilling for me. Sometimes she'll disappear, and I'll find her curled up in bed with her latest book. I can't even begin to tell you how much my heart swells just then. I was raised in a family of bookworms. It was not uncommon on a Saturday night for everyone to be curled up in various corners of the house, each lost in their own books.

Now my children have joined those ranks. I've found out the hard part about all of this though. It's jogged my memory about all the books I LOVED when I was their age. It is taking a lot of self control to not overwhelm them with the 5 million books I want to share with them. It's worse for me with Lindsay than Ryan, because a lot of the books I read, I can't see him enjoying. ("Babysitter's Club", anyone?) Lindsay has read the Ramona books, and I admit I re-read them too. It's sparked memories of Judy Blume ("Superfudge"!), and all the other Beverly Cleary books("Ralph the Mouse"! "Henry and Ribsy"!), and Ann Martin, and "Little House on the Prairie", and "Bunnicula", and "Indian in the Cupboard", and and and. . .

It's going to be hard to find a way to share them all with her, without just dumping an enormous pile of books on her and saying "You should read ALL of these!" I'll find a way to deal with it, somehow, because the source of this temptation at the end of the day is the fact that the bookworm genes have passed on to the next generation, and I am STOKED.

So, what about you? What books were your favorites as a child?


Lorie said...

You named all my favorites! I think it was 6th or 7th grade before I really loved reading. I took some class at good ol Watkins and I read 18 books in 6 weeks. The TX Bluebonnet list was what I really enjoyed.

Meghann said...

Ooh, the Texas bluebonnet list! I had forgotten about that. I just looked up the winners from the past 30 years, and it sparked some more memories. (Like "Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade")

Jim said...

Dr. Seuss really taught me to read, and to love it.

Little House, of course.

Charlotte's Web, of course.

Little Britches series by Ralph Moody (may have to get Ryan the first one - THAT is a GREAT book for a boy).

I wanted to be an architect from about 3rd or 4th grade on, so I used to check out books with floorplans in them (really).

Jules Verne.


Jack London.

StephLove said...

I'm still reading aloud to my 4th grader. He reads on his own of course, but he also likes to share books with me. We just read a lot of Madeline L'Engle this fall and now we're reading the 4th book of P. Bosch's Secret Series.

Jim said...

I just bought Jon Ender's Game. Will be interesting to see if he likes it.