Reading with Mom

We have a busy house and a very busy Daddy. So despite being the one who stays at home, I often feel as if I am the one who gets very little time with my kids...especially on a one-on-one basis. It's something I'd like to change. Right now, I do "dates" with the kids where we leave the house one-on-one, but I'd like less-formal/arranged time with each of them.

I think if you asked most parents, they have one or two special things they do with their kids. For me it's crafting (or as my kids call it "projects") and reading. I read to the girls quite a bit and Jack reads to me...or at least that is how it has been for the last year. Then recently I got to thinking about our reading time together and was inspired by the many times my mother read to me and my brother. So many fun times with my Mom lost in the pages of a book. Why wasn't I reading books to Jack anymore now that he is a proficient reader? And so I made a plan...

I went to our local library and asked the children's librarian for her assistance. I needed a book that would appeal to Jack, that was a bit advanced for him to read himself (i'm not talking Shakespeare here, just advanced in that the flow of the book would be easier for him to follow when read to him), but not too advanced so the subject matter would be too advanced for him. For example my first thought was maybe Charlotte's Web but I thought the loss of Charlotte would be hard on him and may taint our first experience. Anyway, without blinking an eye, the librarian suggested Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. To be honest, the book was new to me. It's the very start of the series that becomes the Ramona books I did read as a child. I took her advice and checked it out.

What a great recommendation. Jack and I read a chapter a night (sadly not every night as I want to be sure he and I are completely on our own to read, so it has to be when Matt is home) and it's a blast. Just when I begin to think that Jack has checked out, something funny happens and Jack is belly-laughing at all the right times. We both really liked the book and I really enjoy our time reading together. When we finish the chapter, Jack always wants to talk about it a bit, then he guesses what will happen next, then he runs downstairs to tell Matt all about the funny parts.

In fact, he wanted to tell you a bit about the book when he heard I was writing a post on it too.
Henry Huggins was a funny book. My favorite part was when Henry's dog knocked down a paint can and he got full of paint. And also when he turned his dog pink at the dog show. That was so funny! Other kids should read this book because it is funny in all sorts of ways.

I also asked him why he liked reading with me & he said:
I like to read because chapter books are really good and funny. Reading with my Mom is fun because I like to spend time with just the two of us.

So I guess I'm not alone in liking our time together. It's funny that it took me so long to take this inspiration from my mom. In fact over the years I've bought her many gifts of "her favorite" books that she read us when we were kids. Now I'm realizing that either I think they were her favorites because she made them so fun for us or that maybe she enjoyed them as much as she did because of how we all enjoyed them together. Either way, those times together are cherished memories to me and I hope I can begin building those same kinds of memories with my kids.

We liked Henry Huggins so much that we're going to continue on with the series. Next up, Henry and Beezus...I can't wait!
tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

love it!!!

Sadie said...

We are doing the same thing right now, and have too many books going to count! Some other recommendations are The Pain & the Great One series, by Judy Blume, and we've also just ordered Henry & Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary.

One I would not recommend yet is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Those books are actually how we got started. It's appealing to kids because every page has drawings, but they are written for an older set and the main character is a slacker. I self-edited a lot throughout the book, so they were more appropriate, but still, he isn't a shining example of model behavior.

I've heard a lot of kids like the Captain Underpants series, but some of the language in that is questionable if you ask me. I have a hard enough time discouraging potty talk as it is! We are still going to try one, will let you know if it's good.

Karri said...

we will have to try this book!!

D. said...

when are you starting Bunnicula?

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