The Love of Books: My Children are Readers

Children reading books

BR & SJ reading together circa 2008.

“I’m the luckiest kid in the world,” said SJ. What precipitated this declaration?

It wasn’t a walk through Disney World. It wasn’t a gigantic box of Lego. It wasn’t an extra piece of chocolate cake.

SJ was holding four books outside of the library. The books included two from the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey and two from the Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce.

So, he was thrilled to have gotten four library books. He even did a dance – right outside the library (I wish I had the video).

Then, there’s BR.

BR has a favorite author: Dan Gutman. He has read many of Gutman’s books including the entire My Weird School series.

These days BR’s obsession is Dan Gutman’s baseball card adventure series. The titles include Ted & Me, Babe & Me, Jackie and Me, etc.

BR gets these books and disappears into his room. He goes through two of these books a week.

Why do my boys love reading when so many boys are not into reading?

My wife started reading to BR when he was just weeks old. He would be awake for hours (shocking, I know); she didn’t know what else to do with him after a while, so she just started reading to him.

Regarding SJ, I remember seeing him in his room by himself when he was two-years old. He was on the floor with a book in front of him. He was flipping through the pages but not before staring intently at each one. He was copying what he saw his big brother doing. This is one case where emulating his big brother truly helped him.

Anyway, some way wonder why we still read to our children even though they are proficient readers themselves. Well, studies show that reading to such children has many benefits.  Jim Trelease author of the respected, Read-Aloud Handbook, notes two reasons why it’s good to read to older kids.

1. A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade.
2. Reading aloud to your kids is also are good way to grapple with difficult issues.*

I’ll be honest. I also love reading with BR because of the time we spend together, and the thoughts we share. I always comment on the books we read, and encourage him to do the same.

The book we completed most recently was The Big One-Oh by Dean Pitchford. I think I liked it even more than BR. The Big One-Oh told the story of a socially awkward boy who was about to turn 10. BR could relate. The protagonist learns many lessons about friendship and about himself.

I love reading with SJ because he is engaged in the text. His facial expressions and reactions are priceless. He also surprises with his comments and questions. Interesting perspective SJ has.

My wife and I are thrilled to be raising readers.

This English teacher dad is proud!