a determined reader

He comes home from school and runs upstairs to grab a “real chapter book.”

He sprawls on the couch with the book on his lap carefully moving his finger across each and every sentence.

The look of determination on his face is fierce. (I recognize that determination.)

I ask him to tell me what just happened in the story… he hems & haws a bit… tells me that he doesn’t want to stop reading to tell me the story… finally, he only describes what’s in the pictures.

I already knew that would happen.

He suddenly wants to move ahead of himself. He has no patience for books about Pat and Sam and their pet cat. He wants real stories.

I try to tell him he needs to start with easier books. He doesn’t want to hear it.

I tell him it’s like when I trained for the marathon, I couldn’t just go out and run 26 miles. I had to start with shorter runs and build up. He should start with books that have shorter words – exercise his brain so it’s ready for the big words. He seems to understand this idea but he’s being very stubborn and insisting he can read this book right now. (I recognize that stubbornness too.)

He’s six going on seven and my first child that didn’t enter 1st grade already reading fluently. As much as I encouraged him this summer, he just wasn’t interested in moving beyond very basic reading skills. He’s not behind by any means, he can read the 1st grade reader with no problems. He just wants more and he wants it right now. (Yes, I recognize that impatience as well.)

And so his equally determined, stubborn, impatient mother is on a quest to find books that are interesting and yet at his level.

Before he gets too discouraged.

Before he loses his drive, his desire.

Because I have a determined reader in the house.

Taking part in the weekly Just Write exercise. Because writing freely is fun.

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8 thoughts on “a determined reader

  1. My kids both loved the Pokemon easy reader books and then it was an easy transition to get them into the Pokemon chapter books. J likes Pokemon too, right?

  2. I love that he is trying so hard.
    I always found that this was a hard bridge to gap, between the stuff that was “boring” and the stuff they want to read.

    For JJ, last year I found some graphic readers – that were like comics, but had an actual story. I wish I was in front of my bookshelf right now so I could tell you the names….

    Also, I am not sure where your son’s reading level is, but JJ loves the Magic Treehouse books. They are a fairly easy read and fairly short, but have the all important “chapters.”

    One of the things I have done with JJ, since his two reading interests are science books and chapter books, is to let him read a page and then I read a page. Sometimes that is enough for him to figure out some of the harder words, that he might not get on his own.

    1. I like the idea of taking turns on reading pages, that should certainly help. And if you find those graphic readers let me know, that would probably be just up his alley. We tried MTH yesterday but it was just a little bit of a struggle. And most of the early readers I have as hand-me-downs from his sisters aren’t so interesting to him.

  3. This left me with a smile – I love that he’s so determined! They get it in their own time, but you have to take advantage of any stage where they are eager 🙂

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