Yesterday we sent our oldest off to kindergarten. And no worries: we didn’t cry, even though the principal had Kleenex and cookies ready for tearful parents. Our five-year-old waved goodbye happily and so did we. Such a great milestone! He’s off to a big school to have fun learning and reading.
When we met with his teacher the day before so he could show off his mad reading skills, I really appreciated what she told me, pointing out the take-home books they use for reading practice:
“He can take home the next in the series whenever he’s ready, whether every day or once a week. The important thing is to make reading enjoyable. If he doesn’t want to read one night, let it go and try again later. Don’t pressure him to get to the next book. Let him go at his own pace.”
Hooray! A teacher after my own heart. I’ve never been too concerned about how fast he learns to read, only that he comes to love it.
some of the books/series/authors I credit for my love of reading
I remember when I first consciously realized how much reading meant to me. I was probably seven or eight and we were camping in my family’s trailer and I’d forgotten to bring any books with me. And I was miserable without them. Every night of that camping trip I vowed to myself that I would never ever go on vacation without a book again.
That still happens to me once in a while as an adult. If I find myself in any kind of waiting room without a book in my purse, that same misery my seven-or-eight-year-old self felt washes over me again and I get all pouty, thinking, “Sure they’ve got all these magazines, but I don’t want a magazine! I want my book!” And I think of it with longing, scheming ways to time warp back an hour and grab the book before leaving the house.
One of the most rewarding things as a teacher is when a student comes up to me at the end of a semester and says, “I just wanted to tell you that you inspired me to start reading for fun again.” These are adults, and many of them haven’t read a book for fun since they were kids. But they light up and tell me how great it feels to love reading now.
I even appreciate it when they tell me that Twilight gets the credit for their reading recovery and that it was the first book they’d read as an adult and since then they’ve been insatiable readers. Hooray for that!
What’s your story? How did a love of reading find you? What kinds of books do you absolutely adore and can’t live without?