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Jul 13 2012

ShareReads: Summer Reading Times Two

by Patricia D

ShareReads intro

My summer reading has taken a two-pronged approach.  Not only am I reading for myself (some cookbooks, Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody books, Arabella by Georgette Heyer, The President’s Club: Inside the Worlds Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and My Life in France by Julia Child ) but I am reading with Junior.  We’ve worked our way through The Mouse and the MotorcycleThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and a huge stack of picture books.  Favorites out of that pile have been Mr. Pusskins, who can give Rotten Ralph a run for his money in the horrible department, the Pete the Cat books with wonderful illustrations by James Dean and favorite since toddler-hood Lyle the Crocodile.  Most importantly though, Junior has been reading to me, taking full advantage of any reader we can lay our hands on, as well as every bus, street sign and inappropriate billboard we pass.

Reading has been a hard-won skill for her and the only way I know to keep that skill sharp and improve on it is constant practice, something that is harder to achieve during the summer.   She has latched on to one reader in particular that was a hand-me-down from her cousin.  In all honesty, I am not enjoying repeated readings of the adventures of Stan, Dan and Lee at the pool.  Yes, there are plenty of wonderful readers out there but she prefers Stan and his ilk over Mr. & Mrs. Green, Mr. Putter and Tabby  and  Little Bear.  While I still make some selections for her, she is now insisting on her own choices when she is doing the reading.  I know she reads better when it’s something she wants to read, and that repetition in reading builds both comfort and confidence.  So, I listen while she reads the same books (there are others also not to my literary tastes) over and over.  This is what is called, in the world of parenting, a sacrifice. Yes, the book is meh but the payoffs?  The sound of my child’s voice as she works her way through a book with only 64 words and the obvious thrill she gets from conquering something that looked impossible last winter.  I imagine it will be pretty easy to forget the not so exciting books she loves this summer, but I will cherish the moments she’s cuddled next to me, frowning over how to sound out the word “aw,” while the miracle of learning to read becomes ordinary.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica W July 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I remember it like it was yesterday. My granddaughter (who was 6 at the time) and I were in Burlington’s and she stared at the word “Coat.” She asked me what it spelled. Sensing a teaching moment, I told her to sound it out, explaining that the “o” was long and the “a” was silent. Another moment and she said it, to my delight (and pride) and the smile of a lady who had heard the conversation. Now her 6-year-old sister, who is a wonderful reader, and I discovered this summer the fun in Mary Ann Hoberman’s You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You. As the commercial says, some things are priceless.

Amy S July 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

It’s priceless at any age. I recently started volunteering at Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta (that has its main office one block from the Decatur branch of the DeKalb County Public Library). All the clients are adults, and it’s inspiring to see them progress. Reading is such a fundamental part of my life, both for work and pleasure, and I can’t imagine having to navigate through the world without that skill.

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