Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Series of Fortunate Events!

This week a wave of happiness has swept through our home schooling family - my oldest son Clayton, 9, began reading for pure fun.

Two years ago, Clayton was reading at a 6th grade level. I was so excited and surprised when I discovered this, as the child did not seem to read very often except for websites and the like. I tried so many times to get him into books - I would buy books on any subject he was interested in, visit the library frequently. He would often read a few pages and then put it down because it was too "boring" and he would rather watch TV or play video games.

A "relaxed" homeschooler, I tried very hard to just let go. I knew from reading that forcing him was not going to be productive - he had to learn it on his own. But for two years I questioned my ability as a parent and a teacher because I couldn't drive this child to enjoy books or discover the magical world of reading.

A couple of months ago we saw the preview for the Lemony Snickett movie. A few days later I saw that there was a series of books under the same title - obviously the movie was inspired by these. Knowing nothing about the books or the movie, I bought the first book in the series and told Clayton that he could read it and if he liked it, I would continue to purchase the books in the series.

He read a few pages here and there, yet the book sat unread for a few weeks. That is, until Tuesday. While typing some email, I turned to check on the children. Clayton was laying on the floor reading his book silently. I had never really seen him do that on his own before. I had a doctor's appointment that day, and as we left to get in the car Clayton never put the book down. He read it during the drive, as we walked in the clinic, down the hallway to the exam room, in the waiting room where we sat to get my prescription, the walk back to the car, the entire drive home, and the walk back to the house.

He read it in the living room, turning off the TV to ease the distraction. He read it during the drive to the mall to pick up Bob, he read it while we walked from the car to JCPenney's, while I chatted with Bob for a few minutes, and all the way through the mall to Waldenbooks where I bought the second book in the series. Reading on the walk back to Penney's and then to the car, during the drive home, and for the remainder of the evening, Clayton had discovered the joy of reading!

Having finished the first book Tuesday evening, Clayton started the second book right away. He finished that Wednesday, and shortly before he finished I bought the next two books in the series. Money is tight right now, but I would stand on the street corner with a cardboard sign if that was the only way to get more books for him.

So if you call and the phone isn't working, or you stop by to find me using sweaters and blankets for warmth because I can't pay the heating costs, don't be sad. My child is reading - and that is priceless in my book!

6 Comments:

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Wooohoooo!

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I cannot express in words how truly excited I am!

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Julie said...

There must be something about those books! I also have a 9 yo boy who just HATED reading--until he "discovered" this series. It's a great feeling, isn't it?

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Ohh it feels awesome - glad to hear you have a "Snicket" fan as well!

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger Sheri said...

That is SO cool!!!

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Heather said...

THank you so much Sheri! I am still stoked :)

 

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