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Your most successful habits to raise a bibliophile?

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I have been reading to my now 1st grader son since infancy, surrounding him with books, taking him to the library every week, providing a reading lamp for awesome bedtime books, limiting iPad time (no TV at home), etc. He just doesn't take any book by himself unless I ask him to. Sure he can now read and understand at a very advanced level, but he is just lazy and chooses his sister's baby books instead  -_-

Does the hive have any suggestions for instilling the love of reading? Thank you.

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He's still young so don't decide he won't love reading already. I wouldn't consider him lazy either. One of mine always loved reading and one took a bit longer. She wasn't lazy but hadn't found something that interested her yet. For my dds, the biggest influence was reading out loud. Dh read to them every night and those are still some of their favorite books. He didn't just read but he explained and welcomed questions during the reading. He also exposed them to many different genres so they were able to discover what they liked which led to more reading.

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In my little home experiment - twins, read to the exact same amounts/types, exposed to the same things since day 1 - one kid eats up books and one kid could take them or leave them.  My son has always shown so much interest in books.  Well before he could read, he'd flip through everything he could get his hands on.  He's just one of those kids that loves books.  My daughter has attached herself to a very few favorite characters and subjects (Laura Ingalls and gymnastics, that is pretty much it) but I can't remember ever seeing her grab a book to flip through on her own unless it's to stall bedtime.  They are only just now taking off with reading but I don't see their patterns changing. 

 

Maybe it's just hit or miss with a kid at any particular age.  Maybe a beloved character or subject hasn't sparked anything in your son yet.  Maybe he doesn't have stamina or confidence.  Maybe he's like my daughter and just isn't book-y - yet.  Maybe, like my daughter, he has too much energy to sit still with a book?

 

No real advice, just keep doing the good things you're doing - model reading, continue to surround him with books he'd find interesting.

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Both of my older kids are solid readers, but like PP they only get into certain books--and then it goes in phases.  We had a month or so where they couldn't get enough of A to Z Mysteries and would read them constantly...and then nothing (except bedtime reading and my read-alouds).  This pattern seems to repeat.  It does give me faint hope...

 

Actually, what gives me more hope is that DH never liked reading much until he was in 6th grade or so, at which point he discovered science fiction and fantasy.  He's now a librarian and he continues to devour his beloved genres.  I think often it just takes a kid finding the right author, the right genre.  If no one keeps encouraging the act of reading and showing different genres, it may never happen.  And you may never have a kid that just lives for books, but even a kid who enjoys reading for a while in the evenings to unwind is a win for me.  Give it time, keep "strewing", and hope for the best.

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It just depends on the kid. My daughter was a book lover from the time she was a baby, when she would crawl over to her book basket and sit there looking through her board books for a long period of time. She also was an early reader who today is happiest when surrounded by books. The library or bookstore are her happy places :-)

 

My boys were raised in the same home with the same parents and the same books. They loved being read to and books have always held a special place in our home. They can read and do read, but have never been known to pick up a book and get lost in it, and I wouldn't characterize them as kids who love reading. The have their own interests and strengths. They would rather be creating their own story than reading one.

 

I have to say that I am a reader/book lover, and it sure has been fun to have one kid follow me in this. My daughter and I have enjoyed sharing books with each other over the years and I look forward to a lifetime of that.

 

OP your son is still young. Keep reading TO him, even though he can read, because there is a certain joy in sharing and discovering a story together (and I say this as someone who does not enjoy listening to a book--but I have enjoyed sharing books with my kids this way). There's also a very good chance he will encounter something along the way that will grab his attention and pull him into reading more. My dd loved the Roald Dahl books at an age a little older than your son, and simply couldn't get enough of them. Sometimes there's a story or an author that just grabs a reader and won't let go. So keep reading and keep encouraging reading. And if he becomes a bibliophile, enjoy it. If not, he'll still be a well-read kid for whom books have been an important part of his education. He'll just have other things he enjoys more, and that's okay too.

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1st grade is way too young to worry about what he's choosing for himself.  Reading easier books is an important part of fluency as well as enjoyment.  Always use read aloud time to stretch him and to provide what he's not quite ready to read on his own yet.  Keep feeding the heart and mind with read alouds and his choices will catch up later. 

 

Also, what reading are you requiring of him each day?  As a stepping stone, you could add a 15 minute reading requirement (increasing it with age) to read, choosing books from a particular shelf or basket where you have chosen a selection of easy, on-level, and slightly challenging books.  He still gets a choice, but you provide what you want him to choose from.  This could still be in addition to totally "free" reading and your own read alouds. 

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Of my four, none are avid book lovers. The eldest boy is probably the closest, reads a good amount but would definitely choose just about anything else above reading. He had a hard time falling asleep and so at night, I allow him to stay up in his room and read. That is when he does the most of his reading.

 

That said, I have seen a definite jump in everybody's willingness to voluntarily read ever since I tied their tablet time to reading. For the oldest two, they earn tablet time for each "book report" they complete. The younger two keep reading logs.

 

And as the middle two boys just love their minecraft game, reading had taken on a whole new level of urgency. 😄

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I wouldn't worry. That's a stage both of my kids went through as early readers building fluency. I just let them choose the clearly-too-easy books to read. Eventually, they got tired of finishing all the library books they had for the week in a half hour and started looking at some more difficult books on their level. But I never, ever pushed. Kids can sense when you want them to do something and will push back harder if you do. I'd suggest a book, they'd say No and I'd say OK as though I didn't care if they read One Fish, Two Fish and only that for the rest of their lives. ;) Does he have anything he's interested in? Trains? Cars? Dinosaurs? Animals? My youngest started reading longer and more difficult books when she found some My Little Pony books. 

 

 

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My son had a fourth grade reading level in 1st grade, but he still did not read for pleasure at that point.  He loved to listen to stories, and he would read for information (train stops, ingredients lists, etc).  I think it was right around turning 8 that he really took off.  Now he's 8.5 and has read The Hobbit and part of Fellowship of the Rings.  Currently he's reading the Crispin series.  He reads constantly, not to mention he does it in his two first languages.  So... just give it more time.

 

My oldest girl, 1st grade, does read avidly to herself, and is not bothered by difficulty.  She just jumps over things she doesn't know how to read.  

 

If you are familiar with some of the studies out there on reading, something that is even more critical to early exposure to books is exposure to YOU reading books TO YOURSELF.  My kids all know that if either DH or I have 3 seconds strung together for ourselves, we immediately pick up a book/kindle.  We get cranky when we are interrupted mid-page, and depending on what I'm reading (Game of Thrones *cough*) I don't let anyone read over my shoulder.  This makes books seem important and intriguing, and not like school work.  

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If you are familiar with some of the studies out there on reading, something that is even more critical to early exposure to books is exposure to YOU reading books TO YOURSELF.  My kids all know that if either DH or I have 3 seconds strung together for ourselves, we immediately pick up a book/kindle.  We get cranky when we are interrupted mid-page, and depending on what I'm reading (Game of Thrones *cough*) I don't let anyone read over my shoulder.  This makes books seem important and intriguing, and not like school work.  

 

This.  My kids know how important reading is to the adults in the house.  Our first stop when we move is to get library cards, and then it's at least a weekly trip after.  Our ipads are lovingly known as 'books', given what we do on them and how we treat them.  We discuss good books at the dinner table.   Books are important and well loved here.

 

And, I've found, it's not just that you read to a kid, but HOW you read to them.  Pick books you can have fun with or get lost in the story.  Make funny character noises, give the book life as you act it out.  We want children to find the magic and we can't do that if we're not willing for it to be magical for us, too. 

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I'd agree it is way too early to be worrying about this!

 

1) keep reading lots and lots to them

2) keep an eye out for they are interested in and tailor at least some of your read-alouds to their interests- not just what you think they should read- and pick up books at the library for them to read that fit their interests

3)read yourself

4)limit electronic time

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Keep reading to them, trying out different types of books. 

Try and figure out what they particularly enjoy.

Go to the library as a family once/week, and let them browse on their own and pick books out.  The excitement of choosing my own 5 books once a week when I was little is still a feeling I remember today.  (Of course you may need to help or set guidelines, etc.)  Let that time be relaxing and unhurried.  We would do that every Saturday morning with our kids, and then stop for coffee or cocoa somewhere.  It was such a fun tradition!

Know that all two children are not alike!  My first three loved reading at a young age and on their own would look at books and then read them all the time.  My number four did not.  She just didn't.  It took years before I finally found a genre that she liked (historical biographies), and she didn't enjoy anything else.  Today she is in her 20's and will still only pick up a book that is informative (a book about the brain, or how to live life on a budget, or the history of the Middle East, etc.).  But even then, she doesn't read a lot.  How can someone not like Dickens!  I don't understand it but it's just the way she is. 

 

 

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In addition to above, a daily quiet time (30 min to 90 min has been the length in our house) with the rule nap or read. Then let child read anything. My oldest would take a stack of 17+ board books like Goodnight Moon to bed with him in 1st grade because that was what he could read without working too hard. 

 

Emily

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Wow!  Great idea for a thread.  

 

My two oldest are both dyslexic.   My oldest (9 years old) is just to the point where he is reading beginning chapter books.   However, he LOVES to read.   I consider that a HUGE victory because how many other dyslexics say that??  As a mother of a dyslexic, I know how much work goes into reading.   Every time  he would complete a reading lesson, I just knew he had a heart of gold because I could see how incredibly hard he was working.  He sat there day after day for years plugging away and not giving up.    So to have a child who still loves books despite the effort it takes?!!   That is about the greatest gift in the world.   No matter what his reading level is, I feel good knowing that he loves to read.   That is a gift that will stay with him the rest of his life I hope.

 

Just this year, I have caught him picking up books on his own and sneaking in reading times.   Something that has helped in our house, despite what has already been mentioned here, is not keeping a perfectly tidy house.  ;)   You want a certain amount of order---but having books at hand can really make a difference.   Don't have all of your books lined up on bookshelves.   Have interesting books strewn about your coffee table.   Allow piles of books to build up on your end tables.    Leave a basket of books in the bathroom and car and by the bed.   Leave joke books on the kitchen table.   My child almost NEVER browses our bookshelves when he is bored.  But he will often pick up a book when I leave it out like this.   And I think giving him the freedom to CHOOSE to read has been even more helpful than requiring him to read.  (Although I do that too.)   But finding sneaky ways to encourage him to read has been really great.   We also try to limit electronic distractions.   (Because it is hard for even the BEST book to compete against minecraft when you are a 9 year old boy!)   So he has a lot of hours in the day to fill up.   That is another sneaky way to encourage him to reach for a book.

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My kids are pretty voracious readers (well, the almost 7 year old is not reading independently, but looks at books frequently). I think the best things we did to build a culture of reading in our home were:

 

1. Reading to my children daily-during the day, at bedtime, sometimes at meals; we read a lot together, even after they were reading independently.

2. Electronics are severely limited in our home. My high schooler is on the computer more for school, but everyone else does not have regular access to devices, so reading is kind of the default.

3. Everyone has a CD player in their room and listens to books on CD daily. They listen if they are working on a project or playing, as well as at bedtime. We visit the library frequently to replenish our supply of books on CD.

 

Really, I think I made it one of the only options. I mean they can craft and play outside, but when someone wants to relax, they curl up on their bed with a book. 

 

He is only is first grade. I know several of my children took until 3rd grade before they were independently choosing to read, but I still made it a daily habit and provided lots of stories in accessible forms. I also didn't require my little kids to read, I made sure they were hearing stories and could hear a story just about anytime they wanted, even if I couldn't do the reading. 

 

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It's been awhile, but I have a memory of something I read in Jim Trelease's read-aloud handbook that having a father who reads novels is one of the most important factors in having kids who become readers. Besides providing books, simply model for him a reading lifestyle.

 

I'll just throw out there that my oldest preferred easy books and would read the same books again and again. I really fretted about it. She wound up doing well in high school, got a very good SAT critical reading score, and continues to do well at university. She now reads academic journal articles for fun.

 

Sometimes, there can be mild visual issues that show up at an age when a child should be moving to harder books with smaller print. The best way to sort that out is to get an evaluation with a developemental optomentrist, see covd.org. 

 

I will admit my children's reading habits changed once they got electronics when they got older, in the teens or tweens. They can certainly get lazy about reading. Like you, we also did not have TV so we did not run into that kind of issue when they were young. I really think you're on the right track with keeping those things limited. It just might take some time to see the fruits. It's a long-term thing, so just trust that you are doing the right thing.

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Despite my own literary addiction and best efforts, the only time my kids are avid readers is at 9pm when its time for the lights to go out.

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Just keep providing books for him to read. A couple of my boys didn't actively get interested in reading books on their own until second grade. So you might just need to wait.

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All of the above and also surrounding your kid with other kids, both older and around the same age, who love reading and talk about books they are excited about.

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First, don't stress! I agree with others that he is so young that there's no need to worry! :-)

 

I will confess that as a bibliophile myself (and a former English teacher), the number one mission of my homeschool has been to create avid, enthusiastic readers. (I would go as far to say that one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place was so we could ensure we would have the time and ability to read tons of books. I believe that if my girls were in school, we would be unable to read even a quarter of the books we do as homeschoolers....)

 

Anyway, so far...my efforts seem to be working! Both my girls learned to read almost effortlessly, both love to read, and both read of their own volition every single day. (Please know this isn't a brag; rest assured we struggle in LOTS of other ways, lol! But I feel like we've got the love of books thing down in our house.) I agree with lots of the great advice other posters have offered. Here are some of the other things I've done, that I believe really help:

 

-Get your child a tiny CD player for his room and get in the habit of bringing audiobooks home from the library. (It helps that our library has a fantastic selection.) My girls always have tons of CD audiobooks available to them, and hearing great stories read by professional actors has completely convinced them that books are magical. What I typically do is read the novel aloud to them first (so I am there to define words and answer questions, etc.) and then after we've read it together, I get them the CD version to listen to on their own. This lets them experience and enjoy the story over and over again. (I feel like the stories get into their bones this way!) My girls turn on audiobooks as a matter of course all the time--they're on every day at rest time, and on whenever they're cleaning their rooms, etc. They're a way of life in our house. 

 

-Read aloud every day to your child and make sure every read aloud session is a pleasure. (That is, if you are bored or rushed in your reading, your child is going to pick up on that.) Every night before bed, the girls and I settle in, cuddle under a quilt, and take our time. I genuinely love to read to them and easily get excited about it, so this is fun for us. I take time to savor gorgeous sentences (I'll stop and repeat the prettiest ones) and we take time to really admire beautiful illustrations or scenes. Maybe that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but it's truly how we do things. I feel like I can fix all the parenting mistakes I made that day through the love I express during read-aloud time, so it seems a soul-soothing practice for all of us.  

 

-If read aloud time is hard for your child to sit through, give him something to do with his hands. My girls often color, cross stitch, knit, etc. while I read, so they can sit and listen for very, very long periods. 

 

-Make sure they see you reading physical books (instead of e-books). I have no evidence for this one, but I personally only read physical books. I think if my children saw me only reading on an iPad, they would doubt that I was reading an actual book. (I think they would assume I was checking email or something.) We don't use e-readers in our house. Only "real" books!

 

-We give books as gifts on every gift-giving occasion. This means that for Christmas and for every birthday, our children know that at least one of their gifts will be a book. My husband and I try to buy really gorgeous hardcover editions for these occasions. (Beauty goes a long way, I think!) 

 

-We never see the movie until we have read the book. 

 

-See live plays whenever possible, and read the book first. (We have a children's theater near us, which we try to go to a few times per year.) 

 

-Provide a good mix of classics and "fun" reads. I always read aloud classics, but I have no qualms about my 8-year-old reading American Girl mysteries on her own. Reading should be fun!

 

-Books are generally treated with great reverence in our house. We take good care of them and talk about them constantly. They are a central focus of our day and homeschool. We take them everywhere, in case there is ever downtime in a waiting room, etc. 

 

A couple of books that might prove helpful: The Read-Aloud Handbook (which someone already mentioned) and Raising Bookworms

 

I think enthusiasm has been the thing that's helped me the most, though. Good luck and just have fun with it!

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Things that helped us:

 

Reading good books daily

 

Having parents that enjoy reading (modeling. This is,imho, SO important)

 

Giving them time to read (here, they can read evening at bedtime or they can go to sleep. They choose to read, and have reading lights in their room to make it easy)

 

Time. 6 is still young.

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He is waaay to little for you to be concerned with this.

 

FWIW, my elder son was always a book lover, my younger son didn't start reading independently until he was 10.   Now, my younger son always has his nose in a book and my book loving older boy hardly ever reads.  Things change so much during their lives.  And some people don't ever develop the reading love.  A good friend with four kids, all raised with NO screen time, homeschooled, etc etc, now her kids are adults and two are readers and two could care less about about reading. 

 

But at 7, 8, 9, 10... playing with legos while mom reads or listens to an audio book is just fine.  And someone can be perfectly intelligent and accomplished in life and never be a big reader. Some people just like to do other things.  And that's ok.

 

I will say that DH and I go out of our ways to make sure the kids see us reading.  DH and I talk about books together, suggest books to each other and make sure the kids hear us.  DH wants the boys to know that reading novels and poetry and plays is a guy thing. He also does most of the reading out loud. He is the one who read them Little House or Anne of Green Gables or Narnia or The Hobbit or Charlotte's Web. 

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DS started out as a bit of a reluctant reader as well. Just keep reading to him and surrounding him with good books, both audiobooks and physical books. DS begs for library trips now, and always wants to know if I have a new book for him. Part of it was finding something he wanted to read about, and the rest was just patience. He sees me reading all the time, so he knows it's something I value, so that helps as well.

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Your insights are truly valuable. 

 

I just finished reading Trealease's "The read aloud handbook" and recommend anyone interested in the subject to do so. There is also another book written by a father who was fascinated by Trelease's ideas: "Little Miss: a Father, his Daughter and Rocket Science"

 

I realized that I have a portable DVD player with a broken screen that I can use just as a CD player, listening time isn't just for the car anymore :) Plus, I don't like using the laptop for that purpose as my DS will immediately ask for his favorite DVDs (all educational, but will just be distraction from listening).

 

DH is currently reading the Martian on paperback and yes I am reading the Game of Throne on Kindle app  :ph34r:   but borrow parenting/ homeschooling books from the library.

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I'm no usually a blog pusher, but I wrote about this awhile ago here- https://friedclamsandsweettea.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/5-tips-for-raising-readers/Hopefully it's marginally helpful! :-)

 

Your blog post is very inspiring. The books you suggested are already on my to-read list and I definitely agree with you on the no-junk reading, even though Trelease is in favor of reading Junie B. and alike "as long as they are reading..." I value his book but disagree with him on few things.

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-Provide a good mix of classics and "fun" reads. I always read aloud classics, but I have no qualms about my 8-year-old reading American Girl mysteries on her own. Reading should be fun!

 

 

 

My son is currently reading National Geographic Chapter books as a light reading before bed (he loves animal stories) while enjoying cuddling with me buddy reading Dahl during quiet time.

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Despite my own literary addiction and best efforts, the only time my kids are avid readers is at 9pm when its time for the lights to go out.

 

LOL, this is happening to us as well, so we do our best for him to go to bed between 7:30 or 8 but that's the only time when he can really focus and read.

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Keep reading aloud. Ask him to read to his sister. Talk about the books he reads at a peer level.

 

Lie down on the couch with a good book by yourself now and then.

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My son is currently reading National Geographic Chapter books as a light reading before bed (he loves animal stories) while enjoying cuddling with me buddy reading Dahl during quiet time.

 

Thanks for sharing. If they don't already have them, I'm going to request our library purchase them.

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Keep reading aloud

Visit the library often

Set an example by reading often yourself

 

For what it's worth, none of my DC have really enjoyed reading on their own until 3rd or 4th grade.  My current 3rd grader still isn't really into books yet (although she likes being read to well enough).  I think before that, it isn't as enjoyable to read chapter books.  Once they get more reading fluency, it becomes more enjoyable.

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It took falling in love with a series (for him out was Geronimo Stilton) to get my son reading regularly and by choice. My younger though I think will always be less of a reader. Growing up my sister devoured books and I avoided them at all costs. Now I enjoy reading quite a bit.

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Do you have a good variety of books around? We owned thousands when the kids were young. Plus got tons from the library.

 

When mine were little they especially lived non fiction- we had lots of encyclopedias for them. I think they really liked the pictures and short amount of words, plus learning cool stuff. Magic School Bus was also perfect for that.

 

They read chapter books very early, but I always still brought tons of picture books, biographies, non fiction etc home from the library. I never wanted them stuck on a series. I wanted them to experience all the different books out there. Even though you can read high levels, sometimes you don't want to! I used to scavenge the shelves that had all the latest holiday or occasion kids books on them. Come to think of it, my kids are now 10 and I'll still get out picture books, along with Jules Verne for them. I like picture books too.

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Yeah, my mom used to have to pay me off to read...and beyond first grade, too. It wasn't until 11th/12th grade that I fell in love with literature and became a voracious reader. Give childhood atmosphere time to seep in, maybe even 2 decades. It will eventually flower.

 

'Course then I ended up in law school which is where they really teach you to read. So, be careful what you ask for. Lol.

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We read aloud excellent literature (classic and modern) at least an hour almost every day until they go to college.  I have a read aloud going and dad has a read aloud going.  When they're very young and throughout elementary school we read fantastic picture books too. We talk about books at the dinner table.  We listen to great voice actors read great literature on road trips. 

There is a huge difference between a book and literature. Life is too short to read just books to kids.

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Do you have a good variety of books around? We owned thousands when the kids were young. Plus got tons from the library.

 

When mine were little they especially lived non fiction- we had lots of encyclopedias for them. I think they really liked the pictures and short amount of words, plus learning cool stuff. Magic School Bus was also perfect for that.

 

They read chapter books very early, but I always still brought tons of picture books, biographies, non fiction etc home from the library. I never wanted them stuck on a series. I wanted them to experience all the different books out there. Even though you can read high levels, sometimes you don't want to! I used to scavenge the shelves that had all the latest holiday or occasion kids books on them. Come to think of it, my kids are now 10 and I'll still get out picture books, along with Jules Verne for them. I like picture books too.

 

I am a bookworm myself, so I can't help going to the library at least once a week as well as purchasing books regularly (we own thousands in different genres and languages). My son likes to be read to but and reads to himself only at bedtime. I am just hoping for him to get to the next level: loosing himself in books as his favorite pastime... Well, gotta keep trying all the suggestions given by the hive :)

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We read aloud excellent literature (classic and modern) at least an hour almost every day until they go to college.  I have a read aloud going and dad has a read aloud going.  When they're very young and throughout elementary school we read fantastic picture books too. We talk about books at the dinner table.  We listen to great voice actors read great literature on road trips. 

 

There is a huge difference between a book and literature. Life is too short to read just books to kids.

 

Do you mind sharing resources you used to build your reading list? We're currently selecting from MENSA, Trelease, and WTM for fiction, as well as from Living Math, SoTW and BFSU for non fiction.

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Sure he can now read and understand at a very advanced level, but he is just lazy and chooses his sister's baby books instead

 

Well, not to criticize, but about the worst thing you can do is insult his reading choices. Even within your own head, kids know.

 

Even if you don't see the value in the books he's reading, he sees a value in them. Maybe he's just not very confident. Maybe he likes the pictures, or the storylines. Maybe they're more advanced than you realize. (Maybe with that last one you're laughing, because her books are all That's Not My Dragon! and Pat the Bunny. But many picture books are actually at quite an advanced reading level, because the assumption is that parents read them to children.)  My mother tells me that when my uncle was only a little older than your son, the class all had to take a reading assessment. And afterwards, the teacher and the class were astonished that he was a full two grade levels above the next highest reader. "Gabriel? But all he reads is comic books!" Yes, but he read an awful lot of them!

 

So you have a choice. You can support him, and talk about his books with him, and suggest books similar to the ones he's reading (but ever-so-slightly harder, if that is your wont), and generally act as though you're interested in what interests him. Most people, including children, like having somebody to share with. I know I never watch an episode of iZombie without running straight to Reddit to squee about it afterwards, and it's the same thing with the books I read :)

 

Or you can not do those things.

 

If you choose the latter path, he's just not going to be as interested in reading. Most activities are just more fun when you're not doing them ALL ALONE. Worse yet, you run the risk of making him reluctant to "let you win". Kids can be weird like that - you didn't like it when he read the books he liked (even if you tried to keep it to yourself), so he's just going to out-stubborn you.

 

You know, by the time I was in the fourth grade I was capable of reading on a college level. I know this, because I've seen my old IEP. Did I read books on a college level in the fourth grade? Eh, not so much. I read a wide variety of books, but mostly I read an awful lot of Sweet Valley Twins and Baby-Sitters Club, which incidentally were all at about a... fourth grade level. Did you ever read those?

 

I read them, and I re-read them, and I read them to tatters. And even though I didn't learn much about reading through them, I did learn an awful lot about social interactions, something I was really slow at. But that's not what I'm actually talking about right now, that's incidental. One of the main characters, Claudia Kishi, has real trouble with academics. In later books this was flanderized to what was probably some sort of undiagnosed learning disorder. She has a genius sister who's some sort of walking Asian stereotype, and disapproving parents, and a collection of Nancy Drews that she has to hide because her parents only want her reading improving books. They don't think Nancy Drew is educational enough. Those Nancy Drews did her a lot more good than any collection of well-intentioned, but unread books. (Or they would have if those characters had ever been allowed any form of meaningful growth. No, they stayed 13 for years and years and years, frozen in time like characters in a comic. But that's a gripe for another day.)

 

As a parent, you don't want to be like the Kishis. That doesn't work, especially not if your goal is to encourage him to like reading. (And some kids never do, of course. So long as you can read, and have some other hobby, it's not mandatory to enjoy it, I suppose.) So do yourself a favor, and try not to judge him.

 

This all sounds more critical than it should, and I just can't figure out where to edit to fix that. Please forgive me - it's meant a lot more kindly than it sounds.

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This all sounds more critical than it should, and I just can't figure out where to edit to fix that. Please forgive me - it's meant a lot more kindly than it sounds.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your post is rather humbling and full of hope. I now realize how important it is to respect his choices and will take advantage of those "baby books" and talk about them to enrich his experience. I definitely choose the first path :)

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Do you mind sharing resources you used to build your reading list? We're currently selecting from MENSA, Trelease, and WTM for fiction, as well as from Living Math, SoTW and BFSU for non fiction.

 

My guess is that might be part of your problem. I know I diverge quite a bit here from a lot of the parents on this forum, but I think one of the best things you can do to encourage kids to read is to let them pick whatever they want to read. (You know, within reason. I wouldn't suggest letting a six-year-old read erotica or something.) When I was a kid, I used to go to the library by myself, check out a huge bag full of books, and have them all read within about three days. And ninety percent of those books were things like Goosebumps and Sweet Valley Twins. If my mom had restricted my reading to books off the MENSA reading list, I can tell you right now I probably wouldn't be a voracious reader today because for a beginning reader who is still using a lot of brain power on decoding, classics written fifty years ago or more are dull. Yes, the writing is lovely and the ideas are sometimes deeper, but many of the books are still dull. Sorry. 

 

The best thing I've done for dd is to take her to the library, give her a basket, and let her fill it up with whatever books she wants. And my god, have there been some awful ones. Disney novelizations and about three months straight of nothing but the rainbow magic fairy books. And I couldn't be happier, because she reads for hours every single day. Right now she's going through a phase where she's in love with the Warrior books (anthropomorphized cat warriors) and reads one every day or two. And these are books between two and three hundred pages at a fifth grade reading level according to the Scholastic book wizard. I actually read the first one because dd asked me to, and you know what? They're not that bad. 

 

If you haven't already, I highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0034DGPPE?keywords=the%20book%20whisperer&qid=1446396888&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digital-text&sr=1-1   Her classroom was middle grade students, I think, but the principles hold true for readers of all ages.

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What Mergath said. At that age, and with this issue, I'd save the quality fiction for read-aloud time, and let the kid read whatever the heck he picks out on his own. Perhaps sprinkle in some quality fiction into his stack of books, but not tons.

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Do you mind sharing resources you used to build your reading list? We're currently selecting from MENSA, Trelease, and WTM for fiction, as well as from Living Math, SoTW and BFSU for non fiction.

 

The left column on this page has links:

 

http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia

 

There are books of booklists like:

 

Honey for a Child's Heart

Books the Build Character

Who Should We Then Read

the list in the back of A Thomas Jefferson Education

 

and there are links like:

 

1000 Great Books  http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/celoop/1000.html

 

Not every book on every list is for every person, but having those lists is very useful to most people.

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One trick I found was to hang a lamp over Dd's bed with the switch where she can reach it without getting up.  I didn't mention that it is for reading.  I let her have a few minutes after bed time to read.  I act reluctant: "Get in bed!  Well, only 10 minutes, and then turn it off!!"  She feels big, and a little bit like she's getting away with something, staying up late to read.  Heheheh. 

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Read alouds every night.

Lots of time spent at the library and used bookstore when we're in town.

Books in just about every room of the house.

Parents read every day.

Time for "free reading" AND book basket (school related) reading every day.

Be excited to recommend books, talk about them, etc.

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I have been reading to my now 1st grader son since infancy, surrounding him with books, taking him to the library every week, providing a reading lamp for awesome bedtime books, limiting iPad time (no TV at home), etc. He just doesn't take any book by himself unless I ask him to. Sure he can now read and understand at a very advanced level, but he is just lazy and chooses his sister's baby books instead  -_-

Does the hive have any suggestions for instilling the love of reading? Thank you.

Ok, I admit I'm jumping to the end of your 40+ post thread here, but my very active (diagnosed ADHD plus a bunch of other things) ds is similar to yours.  He has dyslexia as well, so with him he's not even picking up books at all.  Even with what he reads now, he struggles with comprehension because of his other language issues.  So I do think you could have the I'm a boy, it's hard, I'm busy thing going on.  My ds never even used to sit for tv.  Like seriously, he'd say turn this on and then walk away!  He would listen, but he really had to be moving, lol.  Now he does gymnastics and swimming 6 days a week.  ;)

 

Anyways, he may not have his butt in a chair reading a book, but my ds ear-reads (listens to audiobooks) multiple hours a day every day and is PASSIONATE about it, passionate about acquiring information that way, passionate about learning that way.  He listens to Sterling biographies, books by Russell Freedman, Teaching Company lectures, Beverly Cleary books (age-appropriate), classic fiction, all sorts of things.  He has a kindle hdx 7, and it's small enough and light enough that he can just carry it around all day.  If he's not doing something that precludes it, you can bet his kindle will be there with him, turned on!  

 

So I think read alouds, audiobooks, these make up for it.  When it's comfortable for him, I'll switch him over to reading text plus audio using the kindle's immersion reading.  You can now do immersion reading on android devices using the kindle app.  So if you have an ebook that says whispersync and buy the paired audio, it will highlight as it reads.  This can be a fabulous tool for kids. 

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My guess is that might be part of your problem. I know I diverge quite a bit here from a lot of the parents on this forum, but I think one of the best things you can do to encourage kids to read is to let them pick whatever they want to read. (You know, within reason. I wouldn't suggest letting a six-year-old read erotica or something.) When I was a kid, I used to go to the library by myself, check out a huge bag full of books, and have them all read within about three days. And ninety percent of those books were things like Goosebumps and Sweet Valley Twins. If my mom had restricted my reading to books off the MENSA reading list, I can tell you right now I probably wouldn't be a voracious reader today because for a beginning reader who is still using a lot of brain power on decoding, classics written fifty years ago or more are dull. Yes, the writing is lovely and the ideas are sometimes deeper, but many of the books are still dull. Sorry. 

Agreed!  I don't know the op's dc.  I think it's possible to try too hard, kwim?  Put out a variety of things.  Kids need to read EASY things to build fluency, and their recreational reading is going to be 2 full grades below their tested reading level.  This means if your dc is decoding at a 4th grade reading level, he'll probably recreational read at a 2nd gr level.  For a 1st grader, this can be a big gap!  

 

My dd was a precocious reader, but I tried to have out a variety of levels of books to see what would stick.  So, for a given week, I might have out picture books, 3rd grade level books, 9th grade level books, etc., so that she could stretch for something that interested her or just build fluency by reading and rereading simpler books.  She LOVED the Childhood of Famous Americans series around that age.  She listened to a ton of audiobooks at that age.  She read a lot of COMICS.  People so totally undervalue comics! She read Calvin & Hobbies, Beetle Bailey, all sorts of comics like that (my dh has a stash) avidly.  Avidly.  And it made her a FABULOUS reader.  

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 If my mom had restricted my reading to books off the MENSA reading list, I can tell you right now I probably wouldn't be a voracious reader today because for a beginning reader who is still using a lot of brain power on decoding, classics written fifty years ago or more are dull. Yes, the writing is lovely and the ideas are sometimes deeper, but many of the books are still dull. Sorry. 

 

Who told you the books on the MENSA list are dull and written 50 years ago or more?  Sure, some of the one for older kids are, but as you can see here, there are plenty of books that appeal to modern children still working on fluency: http://www.mensaforkids.org/MFK2/assets/File/Achieve/Excellence_in_Reading_k-3.pdf

 

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Who told you the books on the MENSA list are dull and written 50 years ago or more? Sure, some of the one for older kids are, but as you can see here, there are plenty of books that appeal to modern children still working on fluency: http://www.mensaforkids.org/MFK2/assets/File/Achieve/Excellence_in_Reading_k-3.pdf

 

I don't know, I'm seeing a lot of older books on there. Do keep in mind that books written in the seventies are forty plus years old.

 

My point is that kids enjoy reading much more when they can choose their own books instead of having a carefully cultivated selection of creaky old classics presented to them in order to save them from the horrors of "twaddle." The books popular on these kinds of reading lists are such a narrow and limited selection of children's literature. It's always the same twenty or thirty books for k-3, and a lot of them are fairly dull, to be honest. It's so much better to find out what a child likes, rather than telling him what he's supposed to like.

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It's always the same twenty or thirty books for k-3, and a lot of them are fairly dull, to be honest.

 

And not terribly diverse... though I wonder if you'd find them so "fairly dull" if people would ever suggest new books.

 

That always does frustrate me when people here and elsewhere ask for book suggestions. If you're an native-born American citizen, then can we just take it as given that you're at least passingly familiar with Little House and Narnia? I mean, can people even get internet if they're living under a rock? But every time, at least three people mention each of those books. I don't get it. Why bring up the few books you know for sure the OP already knows about?

 

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