Funny how two kids can be so different. From the get-go my son loved reading. As a toddler, he’d bring me books to read together. By first grade he was reading at a third grade level. And all through elementary school when his teachers assigned 20 minutes of mandatory daily reading, he’d read ten times that and, even then, I’d have to take the book away and say, “It’s bedtime.” Now age 12, that love of reading still flourishes. Need proof? He requested that one of our snowy winters days be a Hunger Games reading marathon. I happily obliged.
My daughter, however, would rather have a cavity filled than curl up with a book. Reading, for her, is drudgery (because it hasn’t come easily) and those daily 20 minutes are tortuous. I’ve tried to make reading fun for her, by including our puppy in reading time (see separate post). She likes that. I’ve also made it interactive, i.e. she reads a page, then I read a page. She also loves that, but it hasn’t fostered independence. I have yet to see her curl up on her own in cozy corner to read.
But, over winter break, when we re-arranged her room, we discovered a new, fun way to read (and write) together. It started out spontaneously, and has blossomed into a fun exchange where morning and night, we write each other notes on her chalk board. My daughter, I have discovered, dispenses great fashion advice, as well as thoughtful expressions of love and appreciation. We enjoy asking each other questions and wait eagerly for the answers.
My daughter still isn’t keen on mandatory reading time, but this daily exchange has blossomed into several sessions of song-writing and even a hand-penned story or two. Yay, I say! We’re headed in the right direction.
What about you? I’d love to hear how you’ve instilled a love for words in the reluctant readers in your life.