I spent Wednesday morning perusing a recently-found and favorite blog: Wonderfarm. The author says,
“If we want our kids to love reading and writing in the future, we have to help them love reading and writing today.”
Last night at the library, there was a boy (about eight years old) reading with an older girl. He was stumbling through the words, squirming, and scowling. The older girl kept coaching him; he looked ready to launch himself off the cushion--clearly not enjoying the experience. She said something about bringing his proper books--maybe he didn't bring the right one--and by the tone of her voice, she was not enjoying the tutoring either.
Was he being forced to get tutoring or forced to read something that was not interesting? What better way to turn a kid off from reading than to make it boring and painful?
Compare this to my son's find the same evening. He went to the graphic novel section and chose two Yu Gi Oh books. On the ride home, he remarked how much the Japanese have enriched his life.
"They invented Pokemon and manga."
He spent the rest of the evening reading--voluntarily. There was no fighting and no forcing. He couldn't get enough. He was still reading when I turned out my bedside light.
Each day we are reading one play from Greek Myth Plays. The kids' stuffed animal collection has been invaluable for casting. Here, Madelyn holds Hades and Persephone, while Baxter (front, center) helps play Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the Underworld.
(The reputation home-schoolers have of doing school in their pajamas, sprawled on the floor? True. All true).