Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Reading is Great, BUT. . . .

Reading is great. We are a family of readers, but even so, we don't always end up reading as much as we'd like.

No one would dispute Amanda's bookworm status, but this grading period she almost didn't make her AR (Advanced Reading quiz points) goal. Her goal is always high enough to challenge her, but because she reads some books that do not have AR quizzes (either re-reads that she already has taken the quiz for or some of the ARCs that I receive), we never want to make the goal so high that she's unable to read beyond what books are in her (very-well-stocked) Intermediate school collection.

Since this is the last week to take quizzes, she was scrambling this week. She did it -- and it wasn't like pulling teeth as I'm sure it is for a child who finds reading difficult or unpleasurable -- but she realized that she had made some bad choices this quarter that affected her quiz scores. One thing was not taking the quizzes on time, and thus possibly forgetting some, or not getting the full 100% (Tween-brain at work -- can anyone help me??). The other was that she was spending more time with her new ipod touch than books.

I was glad that she realized this on her own, and I can't condemn her at all, because in addition to the fact that she still reads much more than most 11-year-olds, I am guilty of exactly the same thing. In fact, it's impacted our "Read Together" plan as well.

Reading is great, BUT --
  • We've been watching American Idol together instead of reading a few pages at bedtime.
  • I like to spend the evenings with my husband, and since Amanda goes to bed later now, that creates a time conflict.
  • After-school reading aloud doesn't happen that much, because of after-school activities -- good activities, but even so, it
Also today is Read Across America day -- a day in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, the goal of which is for every child to be read to. You can read Dawn's post at 5 Minutes for Books to find out more about Read Across America, including links to fun activities and e-cards. For no other reason that we love it, and we need to do so anyway -- today we WILL be reading together.

(Edited at noon to add this fun link from Chicken Spaghetti's blog that features an awesome song/event at a Jr. High --Gotta Keep Reading, a la the Black-Eyed Peas and Chipmunks "I Gotta Feeling." Excellent and Fun!)

What will we be reading? Well, none other than books recommended by other bloggers out there.

Amanda and I are 200 pages in to The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, heartily heartily recommended by Carrie (linked to her review). And we are loving it so much -- revisiting these characters is just delightful.

I read Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller this month, which I will review on Thursday at 5 Minutes for Books, in conjunction with a very-special Books on Screen column (to avoid too much suspense -- it's a great book!). I don't know who exactly recommended this book, but I do know that the general buzz from fabulous kidlit bloggers brought this book to mind when I was looking for a contemporary book about Helen Keller. Amanda is going to read it this week as well.

Be sure to see what other book bloggers reviewed this month, with I Read It! and link up your own books that you read at the recommendation of another blogger the first Tuesday of each month.

I'll leave you with a question: How do you preserve and encourage reading time, for yourself and for your kids?


Lauren said...

My Favorite Boy has to read a certain amount of time each night for homework. He enjoys it, but I know we will have challenges as he gets older. I still haven't read any MBS, but I know I need to!

Carrie said...

Yup, every time I see Lauren say that somewhere I'm just thinkin' of ways to get to her. haha!

I think Amanda is doing great and how cool is that that you didn't have to point out to her where she was spending her time and how. I can't WAIT to meet her!

Kimberly said...

My 11YO daughter has to read at least 15 minutes a day. Her 3rd grade teacher (I think!) started that and I've kept it up (she's in 5th grade now).

My 1st grader reads 10 minutes a day - for now. We decide at the beginning of the month what he wants for his monthly reading goal, then figure out how much per day he needs to read to meet his goal.

We have also enforced a "no TV on school nights" rule. That has helped tremendously. Plus it makes our Friday movie & popcorn nights more special.

morninglight mama said...

If there were only more time in the day to do ALL the fun stuff all the time. :)

Thanks for the video tip, too-- I showed Red and Pudge, because they LOVE listening to JAM's Chipmunks CD with him (which is the only way any of them are familiar with the song), and I'm keeping it up on my computer so I'll remember to show him later on, too.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I go through spots of not reading, but I always get addicted again & read tons of books in a small amount of time. So don't worry. It will all balance out.

Windows Wide Open said...

When my kids were younger, we made a point to,at the very least,read at nap/rest time every day...nap time evolved into quiet time which evolved into reading time as they grew. Once they were reading on their own, we still did read-alouds together, but I have not had to specifically make times to encourage reading--it's just the way it is around here.
I think that is because the climate of reading in our home has always been--I have always strewn books about to pique interest(the bathroom even!), topics and covers that catch the eyes...
When other things get in the way and reading time isn't premium, it's okay because I know reading will prevail again soon.


Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

C. enjoys reading but there are times when he gets too caught up in video games or other activities. When that happens, I'll often institute a "requirement" that he read for 20 minutes or so before he goes to sleep. That's enough to keep him reading and usually enough to get him engrossed in his book...so he returns to reading full-force.