Huckleberry one and two acquired my love of reading and of books, so naturally I presumed that Huck three would do the same…dead wrong! Rather than gobbling up books by the bounds as my older two children have always done, my youngest child is quite the opposite. When I bring out a book, take one off of the shelf, mention reading time, or say let’s read a book, I get the most outrageous looks from this child’s face. It is quite obvious that there is no interest what so ever in reading, none at all.
This is difficult for me in that I have thousands of books in my home, multiple copies of many of them, because they get read a lot, worn around the edges and sometimes even have to be discarded from over use. I find it a constant battle to come up with creative ideas and ways to involve reading in his life without making it be a chore. I want him to enjoy reading, looking at the pictures and imagining what is to come in the pages ahead.
The Accelerated Reader Program utilized by most schools has helped to incent him with AR points from books he reads and the comprehension of his reading but of course, as his momma, I want more. I want him to want to read. Bookadventure.com is a wonderful website for any child who participates in AR tests at school. It allows students and parents to visit and take sample AR tests from literally thousands of books and book quizzes. Bookadventure.com was instrumental with my two older huckleberries and I am now using it to help the wee one as well. Teachers and other mothers I have spoken with have offered advice that I just need to continue to work with him, to keep being positive and creative in my reading suggestions that he will come around and a few have even thought as I do that he is just pre-occupied with being a little boy in that he would much rather be outside collecting dirt covered rocks and digging holes in the back yard than be inside reading a book.
While on Christmas break from work and school this week sorting through some Christmas items, I came across the children’s book, “The Christmas Puppy” by Roberta Grobel Intrater, illustrated by Bruce McNally and thought, “Why not see what the little fellow says about reading this book.” It is after all about Christmas and a puppy, two things close to little boy’s hearts. To my wonderous surprise when I said. “Let’s read”, he said, “Okay” and he even had a smile on his little face. He didn’t look at the book as a daunting task the way he looks when he has to clean his room, or at the number of words on each page, something he always inspects, or that there were five chapters totaling fifty-seven pages. He simply said, “Okay”.
I told him that if we could read the entire book without fuss and muss that I would blog about it which also seemed to make him happy. It only took two evenings for us to read the entire book together. It wasn’t until the middle of the fourth chapter that he started counting how many pages were left, but he also began anticipating what was to come and how the story would end. By the time he closed the book he found that he was very proud of his own accomplishment, as was I, and he couldn’t wait to tell his Daddy what he had done. His summation of the story is as follows:
This book is about a Christmas puppy and a little boy who had Christmas Spirit.