Monday, April 21, 2014

Reading Together (Still and Again)

This blog started off as a sort of general blog about my thoughts and life. I was trying to get into the habit of writing, and I think I did. Blogging was different back in 2006. It was smaller. It was more about writing and connecting and less about business, so I connected. I connected with people about books and tips that "worked for me," and faith, and all sorts of topics. Was that better than what I do now? No. I needed it then, but I don't think I'd have the energy for it today.

All of that is to say that one of things I did back in the day was have a little Read To Me challenge. It was for me as much as anyone, though I did want to encourage others to read to their children as well, especially once they were reading on their own.

I recently wrote at 5 Minutes for Books about a similar initiative that Scholastic is undertaking, challenging families to make a new habit by reading for 20 minutes for 20 days. I still read with Amanda, my 15 1/2 year old, but with her schedule, there's no way that we'll read for 20 minutes a day. But I can commit to read with Kyle, my son who is almost 10, each day, and to continue to make the effort to read with Amanda.

If you don't make it a habit to read with your older children, I encourage you to do so. It is something that is a treasure to me and to my kids.

So for this month's What's on Your Nightstand, I'm going to focus on what I'm going to read with them.

Kyle and I have started Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy over the weekend. If we really do read every day, it won't take us 20 days to read it, so I need to be ready with our next selection. He's been reading Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Amanda and I read the first two or three of them together, and I enjoyed them, so I'm thinking that I might jump in and read the next one with him. I think he's on 8 or 9, but he can fill me in.

Amanda and I have started Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, because it's probably her all-time favorite series, Kyle fell in love with it last summer, and they still can't believe that I haven't read it. We are maybe 20% into it right now, so though we won't be reading every day, I'll try to finish it this month.

Do you have any suggestions for great read-alouds for me and a 10 year old boy? We tend to like funny books, and if they have a big dose of heart on top of that, it's even better.


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

These are oldies, but have you read the Little Britches books by Ralph Moody. They're not funny (at least not all the time or intentionally), but they have tons of heart and interest!

Nancy said...

We read Gregor the Overlander last year and the boys really enjoyed that. With required school reading we don't get much read together time, and since Zach can even read Magic Tree House books independently now, I'm often doing other things. I do need to make more of a concerted effort though. I'm looking forward to summer when we can go back to reading together, the 3 of us.

Barbara H. said...

My sons liked the Encyclopedia Brown books as well as Bill Myer's Agent Dingledorf and "My Life As..." books.

Tonia L said...

What about Peter and the Starcatchers? I have a daughter the same age and that's one of her favorite series.

Jen Robinson said...

I hope to still be reading with my daughter when she's 10 or even 15. You will inspire me.

Have you tried the Mysterious Benedict Society books? I think those are really fun.

Annette Whipple said...

I agree. Mysterious Benedict Society. Here are some other recommendations for middle grade boys. As a read aloud, The Westing Game might be good though not "funny." (It's a murder mystery, but very appropriate for 10 year old. I'll tell you more if you don't mind spoilers.)

Blogging HAS changed, even since 2009 when I began.

bekahcubed said...

How very neat that you continue to read to your children. My older sister was a real fan of reading out loud, so I remember her reading (mostly Christian romances :-P) out loud to myself and my brothers all through our teens.

My two youngest brothers were not much into reading, which greatly distressed me, so I spent a fair amount of time trying to come up with things they'd like to read. A Series of Unfortunate Events was what finally got my brother Tim into reading--but our favorite read aloud was The Phantom of the Opera. I'd read it and was telling whoever was in the living room about it and maybe reading excerpts and Tim got interested - so we started reading it together right then. We switched back and forth between chapters, reading aloud to each other. It's one of my fondest memories of reading aloud (and something that probably wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't been homeschooled, since we basically read from morning to evening for three or four days straight before we completed the thing!)