Sunday, February 3, 2008

the books we love!

If you have been reading my blogs for a while (this one or here
then you know how important it is to me that my sons appreciate and are comfortable with reading.

I have loved to read my entire life. My mom always ordered Dr. Seuss books in the mail which we would sit down and devour when they arrived, usually three at a time. We would read them over and over until the next batch came. When we got older she introduced us to chapter books, we read Charlottes Web, The Trumpet of the Swan. I branched off into Little Woman, Little House on the praire, the Anne of Green Gables series. I learned early that the books were always better than the television show or movie! I was delighted by books the way kids are now about technology. I became a very fast reader, and that has served me well in high school and through nursing school.

My husband comes from a reading family, but he himself is not a reader. He is a doer. I don't know if or how much my In-laws put emphasis on it. He only reads if he absolutely has to, and it is never for enjoyment. We laugh that the only book we both read as children was the Indian in the Cupboard-and we both liked it! He tells me he never read the assigned books at school, he just skimmed enough to pass the tests or write the book report. When it came to higher education he quickly decided that it wasn't for him a few semesters in, and chose to work with his hands, which he loves. But he works hard and doesn't have anything on paper( a degree) to back up the vast amount of knowledge he has. I fear if he were to be injured, or work slowed down how he would find a job that would pay him for his skill level without it.

It became quickly apparent to me that my son was not the type to naturally want to pick up a book, he is a doer like his dad. At first when I tried to sit him down and read him a story he would take the book out of my hand and throw it, then he would go back to his first love, his cars! I realized over time that if something didn't play directly into his interests he wouldn't look at it at all. Then we went to library and I harrassed the sweet and helpful librarian. We left with a large stack of books that day, mostly about cars and trucks. I started leaving books in his crib so that he would be more likely to pick them up, it worked! Some books he loved so much we had to buy because he would not let them go!

This experience taught me a few things! I learned how my sons little mind worked and what I would have to do to encourage him. We have a large selection of books that have captured his imagination as he grew and developed, and a large amount of favorites. When he was about a year the Touch and Feel books by dk publishing were a big hit for my little doer, along with the Pat the Bunny book someone was kind enough to give us. Another early favorite was My Car by Byron Barton. Once he could handle a little more story Sandra Boynton was a huge hit.

In the last three years of this little boys life I have become a self proclaimed expert in what might get a little guy to love his books. This all got me thinking that maybe there were other little boys who just needed a push in the right direction, books on their favorite topics. How many little boys go go go all day and love things on wheels that go go go too? I thought about compliling a list on my blog of books we loved, but I couldn't figure out how to keep it easy to use, and hold a large list of books. This week I stumbled across a blog that had a link to amazon books she loved, I did a little more digging and figured out that I could have something in my sidebar that my readers could look at and link directly to those books, and that I could type in my own thoughts on them, as well as add new ones as he grows! So I am now an amazon associate, if someone where to actually buy a book they viewed through my site I would receive 4%, and I don't really expect this will ever happen (it would be neat though) , but I get to share with you something that is very important to me, that I know a little about, and that I greatly enjoy. There are currently 60 books listed, and I will be able to add more as we discover them! Also, we don't read books based on tv shows-trust me we watch far too much tv all day, I want him to see something new when we read!

Will is now a reader, I keep a large selection of books about things that interest him on each level of our house, where he has easy access to him. He asks to read everyday (sometimes more than I have time for), he has started to "read the pictures" to himself, or if is a book he knows well, "read" the story. I am now trying to teach him the connection between letters and words. I tell him that the letters make words and words tell the story. I have to tell him because he is not intrested unless he knows how it relates to him! I have started teaching him computer skills so he can play letter games online- is an amazing free website that address many levels of reading skills from pre-readers up to I can read!

It has taken some effort on my part and I know it always will, but I invite you on my journey to raise readers!

edited to add:
I just thought of a great idea for a contest to win a book from my list, give me some time and check back for details!


Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

That is one of my goals too, to raise readers. So far all of my kids love books and love to read. Daddy and I do too, so we are thankful that our kids have caught the bug. What a great idea to have the sidebar thingy!
You may also want to check out Usborne books, they started with the idea of reaching boys with books and their selection is amazing.

Haley-O said...

The monkey used to LOVE reading. I could set her down with some books, and let her do her THANG! Now, she's not that interested! And, she insists on flipping the pages ahead of what I'm reading.... :( I thought she was going to be SUCH a reader.... I guess I should make a READING TIME every day whether she likes it or not, and hope that she'll grow to love it again....