Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Leaders are Readers

I'm always reading. I Love to read. My favorite book of all time is Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott. I read it as a girl, again as a teenager, and then as a woman. I made sure both of my daughters had their own copy of Little Woman long before they could even read. I've always tried to instill in my kids a love of books and a love for reading. I talk about books and I let them see me reading. I loved reading to them when they were little, and reading with them as they got bigger. And it worked, on MOST of my kids anyway. (Three out of Four isn't bad!)

Zach and my girls love to read like I do! And I've always tried to keep them reading even through the summer months. We sign up for summer reading programs at our local library. And I always try to find books that I know would interest them. Zach loves history, especially having to do with wars. So one summer when he was around 5th grade, he and I had a World War II summer. We both read The Diary of Anne Frank, and watched the movie based on the book. We also watched a documentary of her life & times. This year my girls & I started the summer by watching the new Nancy Drew movie (I just love that movie! It's Disney the way they made movies when I was a kid!) And we went to the library & checked out some Nancy Drew books. They now have Nancy Drew books for different ages, I think these were called Nancy Drew Notebooks, where she's about 10, rather than a teenager. For Christmas I got a vintage Clue game, and my girls love to play it! So now they are solving "mysteries," and spying on their big brothers all the time! :)

Now, Kyle is a different story. Where did I go wrong? He loved to be read to when he was younger, but to get him to read a book now, is like pulling teeth! This past year in school he had to read To Kill a Mocking Bird, so, he found it on iTunes and down loaded it to his iPod, so he could listen to it instead of read it. He will read a book just enough to make the report & never finish the book. I'll ask him "don't you want to know how it ends?" - he doesn't care. This can not be my child! So, a couple of years ago he had to read a book and do a book report that was going to be a big part of his grade for the class. He was worried about it and didn't know what to do. I suggested several great books, as did his dad, who also loves to read, but nothing appealed to him. He literally HATES to read!

Then it happened. I had what I consider one of my greatest parenting ideas of all time. I know my kids and I know books. So, I went to the movie cabinet and found it. I hadn't seen it in years. I pulled out an old VHS tape (remember those?) one I had from years ago. A great movie. The Outsiders! You know the one about the greasers vs. the soci's. With every actor from back in the day in it. And just like I knew he would, Kyle loved it. So, I went and bought him the book by S.E. Hinton (who is a girl BTW) He read it. He loved it. He got a really good grade on his report. So, I've since bought him every book I can find by S.E. Hinton. And he's liked them all. He still doesn't read just to read, or for fun. But anytime he has to read a book for school or do a book report, he uses one of her books.

I would love to know what your favorite books are, and how you get your kids excited to read?

They say "Leaders are Readers," so keep reading. And encourage a love of books and a love for reading in your kids.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Star,
I love to read too! I would rather read than watch tv any day. My boys all enjoy reading as well. Andy doesn't read for pleasure as often, but Ryan and Christopher are always into a book.
I was thinking about your question about how to encourage your kids to read, and I think the key is just what you did with Kyle. You just keep trying different styles until you find the one they love!! One really excellant series for pre teen boys is the MY LIFE AS books by Bill Meyers. You can find them at Berean Christian Book Store. They are hillarious books with really fun titles. When my boys would read them, they laughed their heads off!

Anonymous said...

Hey Star,

I love to read too! Analise has also developed a love of reading which makes me very happy. My all time favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I feel like the Bronte sisters were the first literary feminists even though they had to go by male names when their books were first getting published.