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Reading, Writing, 'Rithmatic

It might not come as a surprise to you, but I love the written word.

I love reading and writing and crisp clean pieces of paper.

In fact I have, at the moment five full book shelves in my house (big bookshelves--not little ones) as well as numerous other books spread higgledy-piggledy through the bedrooms, living space and kitchen.

As can be construed by this little obsession I have, I try to instill that same love within my children.

Vicbowin has been easy. In fact I can't keep up with her. She reads numerous books at the same time. She reads the same books repeatedly. She checks out at least four books from the Library at a time. She talks her friends into reading the same books. AND she's at a seventh grade reading level (I'm sure I've mentioned that before).

But beyond reading Vicbowin also loves to write. She has her own blog (generally used to brag about the books she's read), she has piles of notebooks full to the brim with her ideas and drawings, and she likes to send letters to cousins.

She even announced to me that instead of being a veternarian, like she has been planning for the last four years, she now wants to be a librarian. Vicbowin, is obviously not my problem. Well, none of my kids are a 'problem.' but just that Albowin struggles so much with reading that I have had to take matters into my own hands.

In an effort to help increase not only his ability to read and write, but also his desire I have instituted some new activities around here.

This summer Albowin began writing letters to a pen-pal. I allowed him to choose who he wanted to write to. I said, "We can find someone who lives in another country, or you can write to a cousin, or you can write to a friend from Arizona."

Albowin chose to write his grandmother (my mom). Each time a letter comes in I sit down with him and allow him to write. I don't tell him how to spell the words and I only tell him to use better handwriting when I know he's doing it on purpose. Then when he is done writing and has wandered off I flip the paper over and translate for my mom (for which she is grateful).

The other thing I have started doing is allowing him to check out comic books and graphic novels from the library. I remember has a child how comic books were tantamount to brain melting, but I don't think so. In fact as I watch my son sit on the couch or in his bed and poor over those colorful pages I'm confident that I have made the right decision. There is no question in my mind that he is reading. He may not realize he's even doing it, but he's picking words out that he recognizes and figuring out what's going on in the pictures.

For Albowin, these two techniques seem to work wonders. He asks to go to the library now. He even asked for his own library card. He has found that he likes to 'read.'

My indoctrination into the world of literature has begun! ::laughs maniacally::

As for the babies?

The Mischievite will never have a problem. He loves book as much as his older sister. If I sit down for even a moment he's there asking "Wead a book?" "Wead llama-llama?"

When I agree to read to him, he inevitably fills his arms with as many books as he can carry. I gladly oblige (I will admit to making up the words for books like "The Berenstein Bears"--they are so long!).

I wonder what Remewin will be like?

Do you like to read? Obviously since you're here.

What books do you read? How do you instill your values in your children?

Have you been to my other blog?


Polly Blevins said…
Cole liked Llama Llama too. When he is throwing a fit I say, "come on little Llama no more of this llama drama." It sometimes works. My kids love for me to read them books too. Great idea for albowin. Thinking outside the box again I see.
Jennifer said…
I just put together a bookcase downstairs with all the kid's books easily accessible. The idea is to lure the girls into picking them up and looking through them, by making them easy to get to. Sneakiness!!! The way to get your children to want what you want them to want! :D
Jessica Bair said…
We LOVE books and are at the library several times a week to get a big stack. We read EVERY night before bed and throughout the day. Each kid gets to pick a book and they all pile around me. In fact, I can use NOT reading a book as punishment for not brushing teeth when asked, not listening during scriptures, whining when told it's time for bed. You'd think the world was about to end when one or all are told to go to bed with NO book. Ava can't wait to be able to read on her own. She is very quick at memorizing books and can read some words. Bianca loves for me to read to her but isn't so fond of reading herself. I've also found that she is more likely to read if she gets "comic" books. Her favorites are Garfield and Peanuts. I've been really bad since we moved but I usually read everynight before bed. Most times for at least an hour, sometimes longer. I LOVE to go to the library (preferably by myself) and go down the rows and rows of books, looking for the next great read.
Meaghan said…
I read all the time now that I am out of school! I'm always so busy during the school year. I've always loved reading though since I was little :)

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