Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Follow Kids' Passions and Interests and They Will Read More

My god son came home from school with his assignment for the weekend: Read Little House on The Prairie and write a book report.

I won't comment on the assignment or book choice- that is for another posting. Read here if you want more.

What I want to talk about is his reaction- "I don't want to do my homework. I don't want to read." Too many statements like this and I get worried about the future of his reading life. Finding books that capture his attention and keep him engaged is not as easy a task as I thought.

Over the years I had gotten him lots of non fiction books about animals and recently I gave him some chapter books about sports, baseball, football, and basketball. He got very upset with me. "Titi, you just don't understand what kind of books I like anymore. It's like you don't know me." He was quite upset. I didn't understand. He loves to watch sports with his grandpa and he plays basketball and we had read numerous other sport books together.

I was glad that he could articulate what he was feeling. I felt awful. It was true that I hadn't seen him for a long time and engaged him in a conversation about the books that he was presently enjoying. I wasn't tuned in with what he was interested about- in the world.

So we talked about what he was into and thinking a lot about recently. Here is a list of the kinds of books that he told me how is presently interested and invested in reading.

1. Graphic Novels: Bones, Amelia Rules! A Blog.
2. Greek Mythology: The Lightening Thief Series. Any books that tell the stories of Zeus.
3. Books about People who try and save the world (super heroes)

Talking with our kids and finding out what their latest passions and interests are always a good thing to nurture to their reading lives. It is a way in to connect and find ways to motivate them as readers and learners and frankly, just people interested in the world.

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