I wanted to do some sort of growing bookworms post for today, but nothing particular came to mind. Luckily, there has been a fine crop of posts on this subject from some of my favorite blogs this week. Thus instead of sharing my ideas, I will point you to theirs:
At What Do We Do All Day?, Erica shares her strategies for avoiding frustration/burnout in her relatively reluctant younger son's emergent reading. She offers a list of 10 alternatives to forcing your kids to learn to read. Personally, I think her hands-off approach, focused on maintaining a love for books, is the right way to go. Here's one example, a technique that I have employed myself, but do click through to the full post for more:
"When reading aloud, take an extra long pause before a word. I have to be casual about this so my son doesn’t catch on, but if I pause long enough, he gets impatient and I see him looking at the word to figure it out."
At Literacy, Families, and Learning, Trevor H. Cairney shares some detailed recommendations for parents and teachers who are working with their beginning readers on oral reading. He discusses reasons why one should (and should not) practice reading aloud with kids, how to select books, and concrete DOs and DON'Ts. He concludes that oral reading should be used in a postive way, and should "virtually never" be used as a test by parents.
In a more off-the-cuff post than the previous two, Stacey Loscalzo muses on the joy of reading aloud. She says:
"I challenge us to ... ask our children to be children again and read aloud as often and long as we can. Even and especially after they can read to themselves because there is still something inherently important in hearing the written word spoke aloud."
There was also an interesting discussion at A Fuse #8 Production earlier this week on whether (or when) it is rude to ask someone what their kids are reading now. Betsy Bird worries that:
"if used for evil instead of good, (asking what your child is reading) could act as an awfully effective way to engage in shaming your fellow parent."
At Growing Book by Book, as part of Sensory Processing Awareness month, Jodie Rodriguez writes about why her child can't sit still when they read. She offers discussion and strategies. For example, this excellent point:
"If your child is comprehending what is read, does it really matter that they aren’t sitting still during the story?"
And there you have it. A few links of potential interest for those of us who are attempting to grow bookworms.
And, ok, I do have one tiny literacy milestone to share that cropped us this afternoon. My daughter asked to read Naked! by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi, only our second read of this library book. Mid-way through, she pointed to a little cluster of toys in the foreground of the page. She said: "that doll and that potato were in I'm Bored!, except that the doll was wearing a different shirt." And sure enough, I looked back that the cover of I'm Bored! (by the same author and illustrator), and the doll in Naked! bears a strong resemblance to the little girl from I'm Bored! As does the potato.
This isn't quite a milestone, because she has certainly recognized characters from one book who crop up in another (most notably The Pigeon). But this one impressed me because it was so subtle, uncovered in a pair of books she didn't even know very well, and that had completely escaped me. I told her that I was impressed.
Yes, if you put enough books in front of your kids, they will start to notice details. Happy reading to all!