Thursday, March 07, 2013
The kid with his head in a book
My 5-year-old made a fascinating discovery the other day. He can read! Of course, he knew he could read words on signs and worksheets and in his picture books and the like. But the other day he discovered that, really, all books have words in them, even long chapter books, and if he wanted to find out what happens next in Peter Pan, or the Magic Tree House books (insert number here, we're like on 18 or something) he didn't have to wait for an adult to read it to him. He could just pick the book up and read it himself. It's kind of a fun moment. I remember a similar moment when I was around that age and my parents had been reading me some book (I forget which, now). I wanted to see what happened next, so I kept reading. I soon learned that books had great stories, and you could become completely absorbed in those worlds. Once, I was wondering around outside reading a book and I stepped on something sharp. I was too absorbed in my book to pay much attention. When I finally put down the book later, I noticed blood all over my foot from a rock or some such. I was just too engrossed in the story to care. My son seems to have inherited a bit of this as well, because we're now trying to establish a few reading rules: 1. No reading during family meals. I won't say no reading at the table, because I've been known to read the newspaper in the morning if the kids are doing something else and I'm sitting with my coffee. But if we're all there at dinner, it's not the right time for Dingoes at Dinnertime. 2. No reading while walking. Apparently the bus driver made sure my son got off the bus at his stop (I'm sure he would have kept reading to the end of the line, otherwise), but he was reading while walking down the bus aisle and down the steps. Not a good idea. 3. No reading while someone else is trying to talk with you. A difficult one to be sure, as no doubt 9 times out of 10 whatever is happening in the book is more exciting than whatever the other person is trying to convey. Nonetheless, we need to be polite, and put the book down and answer. That's why one learns to go hide away somewhere in the house if you want to read undisturbed. What rules do you have for voracious readers?