Parkour Boy has had a bit of Reader’s Block. You know, like Writer’s Block. Can’t find anything good to read. Awhile back he finished a book series called Warriors and loved it until that series ended. When he tried out the next round of books in the next series, he was in complete despair. He was unaware that sometimes the main characters in the first series do not have a major role in the next. This was a sad, sad day. From that point on, no book seemed to satisfy.
I let this go on for a good amount of time and then my “Gotta Get Him Reading Real Books” Mom Thing took over. Manga (Japanese comic books) just didn’t cut it for me anymore. I know, I can get a bit pushy and well…irrational. But hey, sometimes it works out. This time I laid down the law. Reading needs to occur every day. It’s fundamental, right? I mean, after all reading is one of the Four R’s. So, I somehow convinced him to try a book Music Man read this year. I say ‘somehow’ because Parkour Boy is not someone you can easily sway. If he doesn’t want to do it, it ain’t gonna happen. Now, don’t get me wrong, on the whole, he is a respectful kid when he’s asked to do things around the house. But when it comes to things like books, sports, or auditioning for a CYT production, he’s a man of steel. He only budges when he deems it’s time to move. It’s a character quality that God is going to use in big ways, I’m sure.
Anyway, he found he L-O-V-E-D this new book. Couldn’t. Put. It. Down. And this, of course, is a sweet music to my eyes. Okay, I know, it should be ears, but you don’t listen to someone read. Hee. Hee. He’s off and
running reading again. Even when he doesn’t have to. He finished “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25” in exactly four days. This was record reading folks. We even convinced him to read another one of Music Man’s books to tide him over until August when Michael Vey 2 comes out. He’s now half way through Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I think he’ll have that finished by the end of the week.
I tell you all this to not have you compare your kids to mine, but to encourage you if you have some reluctant readers in your home. Parkour Boy had limited formal reading instruction (I taught some basic skills in First Grade). And for years, he was satisfied with picture books and comics. I had the experience of ruining my oldest son by pushing the reading thing too soon, and decided on patience with son #2. I read so much research that said with especially boys, it was wise to wait until they were ready. It has paid off. So, celebrate with me!
By the way, Music Man is an avid reader. It wasn’t until I backed way off of the required reading thing (you know, by assigning what he was to read) that he began to discover it was fun. So, if you’ve been a pusher too and your kiddos don’t love to read on their own, never fear. It’s not too late to relax and give them choices.
Years ago I set my Bribery-By-Books Program. Haven’t heard of it? That’s because I made it up. My kids enjoy getting new things. I used this against them. I told them for every book they finished reading, I would buy them a new one of their choice. And Parkour Boy’s deal was that every other book had to be a chapter book. He HATED that rule for a long while. I loved it because he would blow through his new Manga in a matter of hours and in order to get the next one, he had to read a substantial book. Hee. Hee. Pure evil, huh? Or genius, depending on who you are.
Well, all my conniving paid off.