Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 50/365

will reading feb 19 10
When I saw this, it was one of those moments where I could finally cross one of my parental worries off the list and breathe a sigh of relief. You know that list. We all have one. It's the list you keep of worries about your kids, things that no matter what you do to try and manipulate change their bent, they're going to be societal misfits. They're going to end up living in your basement until they are 60 and never get a job because they won't be able to handle the pressure of the ridicule heaped upon them by their peers. And it will be all your fault for failing as a parent.

Will's "problem" is particularly troubling. He doesn't like to read. Can you believe that? An 8-year-old boy who doesn't like to read. I'm sure you've never heard of such a thing!

This (unfairly) made it onto my list of worries, in part, because Caelan has always been an avid reader. I started teaching him to read when he turned 4, which was a direct result of the following conversation between Shawn and me:
Shawn: He's ready to start. You can teach him.
Me: Nuh-uh.
Shawn: Yes, you can. And he's ready.
Me: Nuh-uh! He's only 4! And I didn't go to college.
Shawn: Just try. For me?
Me: OK. But you're nuts.

By the time Caelan was 5, he was reading chapter books. And I was home schooling.

I know Caelan's desire to immerse himself in books is unusual and I didn't expect the same from Will. But I didn't expect him to resist, and actually resent, reading. I've been patient yet firm, not requiring any reading beyond his daily lessons.

Not enjoying reading, it has been a struggle for him and painful for me at times to watch him struggle. The comprehension and retention of what he reads has never been a problem. The natural flow of the process of reading has. He has learned, however, that in spite of the process being laborious, it's also rewarding. If you work at the process through the right book, you find yourself laughing so hard you fall over on the couch. I thank Hank the Cowdog for helping Will make this discovery. He's been reading the Hank the Cowdog books orally for about 6 months now. He also listens to the books on CD during his playtime. But I've still yet to ever see him reading a book on his own. That is, until Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, I found him sitting on the couch reading one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I successfully supressed the urge to grab him into my arms and slather him with kisses and tell him I was so glad we'd moved past, "I don't have to learn how to read. I'll just make my wife do all the reading."

Yesterday afternoon, he was sprawled on the floor reading it. Last night, for about 20 minutes before basketball practice, he sat on his basketball, just like this. He's reading for enjoyment now. Whew! So now he'll be moving out of the basement by the time he's 50. With a little more work, we just might raise this kid into a productive member of society. And I'm sure my daughter-in-law will be relieved to know she won't be expected to do all the reading.
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Kelly Goree said...

my ethan. word for word. kills me as i have been an avid reader since 4 as well. just in the past couple months has he been reading for enjoyment and it makes my heart sing!

Kristi Smith said...

Who doesn't love Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? :)

I think Cole said a movie of it is coming out soon.

Glad he won't be in your basement until he is 50. Cole used to love to read, not so much anymore. Watching EPSN has taken over his life. :(

sanjeet said...

Those fabrics look just like Spring! What are you going to do with that zipper?

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