I am a big reader. I always have been. I remember getting in trouble as a small child, like 4 or 5, I was always up late. I mean really late.......way past my bedtime. I would get my flashlight out and hide underneath the covers so I could read. I know my mom always let me read for a certain amount of time (when I was supposed to be sleeping) before she would really get on me, but I had to finish whatever it was I was reading.
I read to my daughter religiously when she was little. But, with my boys, it has always been harder. Kenna loved to listen to the stories. I read them to her, and also made up my own, and added in the stories that my dad used to tell me. The boys appreciated the made up stories, sometimes. But reading, they were not found of, too much sitting still and concentrating for my little ADD campers. I mean I guess that is why I always struggled to get them to listen. It really has only been recently that Kamden has started to enjoy reading with me. Kooper never really did get into it.
Kooper started reading more on his own and finding an enjoyment of fiction on his own. Actually, it was his teacher in second grade that made that work. His teacher was an older "grandpa" that was ready for retirement. He retired the year after teaching Kooper. When I found out who his teacher was going to be my heart sunk. Kenna had had Mr. Weeks as a teacher in 5th grade, and he was a tough cookie. I thought, oh THIS is gonna be terrible for Kooper. BUT, I am not one to OVER react, well, not really. Oh...who am I kidding, when it comes to my kiddos....I AM A CRAZED LUNATIC. So, I tried not to run right down and have him moved immediately. I asked why he moved from 5th grade to 2nd grade, and he explained that the school had asked several of the 5th and 6th grade teachers to move to 2nd and 3rd grade to teach some fundamentals in math and reading, whichever were their strong suits to prepare the kids for FCAT (FL standardize tests that are required to pass 3rd grade). I tried to keep an open mind.
So hubby and I went to Open House. We listened as Mr. Weeks explained his goals for our children. The class size was small. I mean really small, there were only 14 children at the start of the year. I think at the end two had moved so there were only 12. He said he was going to help us get our children to love reading. Then, he imparted the best advice I have ever received from a teacher, to date. And that includes EVERY teacher I have ever had, all the teachers Kenna has had, Kooper, and Kamden. He told us to let our kids read, no, encourage them to read, whatever they WOULD read. That's right. It didn't matter if it was a book, a magazine, baseball cards, the comics, the back of the cereal box, it didn't matter. As long as the material was something that would hold their attention, then let them read it.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Novel concept I know. I had been trying to get my boys to enjoy what I loved. What Kenna had loved. Not girlie stuff. Neither Kenna, nor I have ever been girlie-girls. But, I never let Kenna read anything that wasn't classics or had some kind of seal of approval by all those award winning whatever...blah! blah! blah! So....off to the COMIC SHOP we went. Kooper thought graphic novels and comics were AWESOME! YEAH for me!!!! He found a couple comic series he wanted to follow. We started picking out books, that in the past I would have steered away from...like "The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby (Captain Underpants)" and other titles that referenced, butts, and boogers, and words we don't use like Stupid. And we found "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" which Kooper now waits for each time a new one is released!
Now he reads for his 30 minutes every night, no problem. I often find him reading to find out what happens next in his series on the weekends!?! Yeah! So Kamden, is at that golden age, same as Kooper, 2ND GRADE. And the bug has bitten...the reading bug. Kamden has been reading, or has been able to read since he was three, but it was only on his terms. He is a bit of a computer junkie. He learned to read playing picture in picture games on the computer with me. But that is a different story and I don't want to get too far off topic.
So...back to the series we are currently engrossed in. It's probably too easy for Kamden's reading level, but, we are love, love, loving them. I find as we are reading aloud every night, that the rest of the family is listening and getting into the stories too. They are My Weird School Series by Dan Gutman. The series follows a boy named A.J., who hates school. He is in second grade. He only likes things like football, skateboarding and trick bike riding. His nemesis is a little girl named Andrea Young, he hates her, of course. But here are a few of the titles....Book 1 Miss Daisy is Crazy, Book 2 Mr. Klutz is Nuts , Book 3 Mrs. Roopy is Loopy and we are currently reading Ms. Hannah is Bananas! The books are clever, and funny. The first introduces Miss daisy the teacher, Mr. Klutz is the principal, Miss Roopy is the librarian and Ms. Hannah is the ART teacher! Kamden is really into this one.
If you are adverse to your children saying that they hate anything, these books are not for you. A.J. certainly hates many things, and has no problem saying so. They are written in first person from his point of view. However, each of the faculty has a clever and unique way of teaching A.J. that he does like things he may not have before. I won't give too much away, but Kamden has taken the first book to his teacher and is going to try to write his principal a letter to get him to agree to the storyline in the first book for his school! OMG!
Anyway...these are some really cute chapter books for 1-3rd graders. There are 20 something of them in the series. If you have little boys, or girls, they are really fun!