If you give a girl a book,
she's going to finish reading it.
And chances are if she finishes reading that book, she's going to ask for another...and another.
This Thoughtful Thursday discussion was inspired by a very personal post from my good friend April over at Sim~Sational~Books. (Oh, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. :D) You might know her from her awesome SIMS-based book trailers, but we connected because we both have five-year-old daughters who just recently started kindergarten this year.
Something else they're working on already that we didn't even contemplate until first grade is reading. Starting on October 1st -- after all of us parents were submitted to a very brief intro to the program via a parent-teacher meeting -- the kindergarten classes at Katie's school began bringing home a purple folder with required reading books in them. Books that they apparently aren't going to go over in class. I understand that parents need to be involved in their children's education, but isn't our job to help our kids on top of what they're learning in class, not in lieu of what they're not being taught?
I'm trying to garner an appreciation for reading in my little girl, and so far, it's been going great. There are some books we've read together so many times that she knows them by heart and she reads them to me now. But that also makes me worry that she's just memorizing things and not really comprehending them as she's reading. And there is a big difference between reading what you've already memorized and reading for comprehension. I try to get her to tell me what words are by pointing at them and not letting her read the sentence that they're in, just to see if she recognizes the word, and it's proving difficult for her.
I want Katie to want to read, to love going to the library or bookstore and trying to make up a haul as big as her mommy's. Soon enough, she'll be forced to read boring books that take all the fun out of reading. Honestly, though, in this respect, I'm glad I had a little girl; it does seem like a lot of boys tend to outgrow a love of reading much sooner than girls do, if it ever comes to that. But it's because they're forced to read stuff in these formative years that isn't fun, or at the very least, isn't presented in a fun way. I'm not saying school should always be fun or that the stodgy old classics should be done away with, but there are ways to make it interesting and make the learning experience fun and easier on everyone involved. And that's part of the reason that I hate this new reading program, or at least the fact that it's an at-home program. My sister said she read a study that said at this age, the average kid reads approximately ten minutes in class, per day. Really? I'm okay with the twenty minutes they're supposed to spend reading at home...we did that every night anyway with her bedtime stories before she even started school. But if they're not even spending that long reading at school, why am I sending her there, besides the fact that I have to work and can't home school her? (I so would if I could.)
Huh. I did not expect this post to get so ranty...I guess I'm a little more worked up than I thought. It's just that things have really changed since I was in school, and kindergarten is proving a lot more stressful than I imagined it to be. I'm so glad to have a friend like April who's going through the same stuff so we can vent to each other. We just want our girls to love reading as much as we do! No pressure, kids...but you know how awesome it is to have someone else to share your books with. I just want Katie to be the next in line to read all of mine. =) And so, I'll keep reading with her and working with her on those damn Word Wall Words and reading some more.
Oh, and I think frequent trips to the library and bookstore should help, right? ;0)