Saturday, October 11, 2008

Guilty of a Cliché

Mr W is supposed to read for 10 minutes a day. As his teacher predicted at the parent-teacher conference at the beginning of the year, he'd rather read to himself, as that is getting easier to do than read aloud. But of course the way they test the kids is to have them read aloud, so they need to be good at it, or at least have it reflect what they can do.

We go to our local library about once a week for books and videos. I pick out several books for him to read at home, as well as books we can read for bedtime stories. The last time I got books for him to read, I was excited because I could tell they were a step up from what he was reading over the summer and in first grade.

Fast forward to the first time I say, "OK, pick a book and let's have you read for 10." To my surprise, he looks at all the books and pronounces them "boring." "What?" I say. "You didn't even look at them closely. You know what you just did? You judged these books by their covers." He was unimpressed, so I asked him to read the one on submarines.

So I've been picking the book for him to read. I picked one out on prairie dogs, as we see them in their last vestiges on the edge of town as we take Sally to dog school. He gave me the usual "it's boring, it's too long" stuff and got to work. Lo and behold, he gets through two chapters and says, "we can read more of this next time, right?" Yes indeedy, my budding book lover.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.