Friday, May 13, 2011

Instilling the love of reading

My husband and I are nerds. We admit it. We love playing with our gadgets, bringing up random trivia facts into conversation, and we both love to read.

When we had children, we both hoped that we would raise little readers. There are books EVERYWHERE in our house. Seriously, stop by our house and see if there isn’t a room with at least one shelf holding some reading material.

We would read to T. & H. before bed every night. Since T. has a regular assignment to read for 20 minutes each night, it’s now his job to read a book to H. every night. (Yes, we multitask when possible.)

H. has recently become obsessed with comic books and the characters in them. (Her daycare director recently told me that in class they kids were all talking about which superhero they were. H. told her friends, “Well I’m the bad guy’s wife!” So there!?) She loves to pore over the pictures, and find words she recognizes. She will point out what is happening and will tell us how the story ends. Her current obsession is the Fantastic Four kid series.

My son has chosen a different route. He used to like picture books, but he never really took to a series like H. has. He liked the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, and really enjoyed the Gerald and Piggy books (by the same author), but he never got really excited about them. He loved the “Where’s Waldo” books, but there wasn’t a whole lot of reading going on. On a whim I bought him the first book of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, and Boom! His interest has taken off. He’s finished two books in the series and is clamoring for more.

There’s something about sitting in your bed with a flashlight you pillaged from a drawer somewhere, long after mom and dad turned out the light, and turning the pages of a book to find out what happens next to your favorite characters. I didn’t have the heart to get on my son’s case when I caught him doing that recently. It was well after his bed time, and he should have been asleep hours ago. I just tiptoed away, remembering how I couldn’t sleep until I knew if Encyclopedia Brown solved the mystery.

Hmmm…wonder if T. would like those books. May have to buy him one and introduce him to my old favorite.

Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Public Relations Manager for Texas Health Resources and Mom of two and her reading weakness is chick lit.

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