March 9, 2013

Wait--There's More to Read!

Last night I was too tired to write an actual post, but I didn't want to forget what was going on.  So I jotted a few sentences--just enough to help me remember what I wanted to say about the boys and their voracious reading habits.  Well, I must have clicked "publish" instead of "save" because my email box greeted me this morning with comments from some of my favorite fellow bloggers.  Despite brevity being the soul of wit, I decided to finish the post. 
 Here's the unabridged version...
It's easy to tell your children they can't come downstairs for a drink of water after bedtime.  It's the oldest excuse in the book.  But what do you say when you find them sneaking around in their footie pajamas in search of .... a bookmark?  I happily report that both my sons have been caught in the act recently.

That being said, I was not excited about the new preschool program at our local library.  One thousand one books before kindergarten?  Sure.  Of course.  I'm certain Henry experienced that many before this school year began.  Obviously, Liam has listened to several books each day since he was conceived.  There's no reason to believe he wouldn't reach this biblio-milestone naturally. 

It's not that this isn't a great early literacy program.  It's not that early literacy isn't the best gift a parent can give a child.  It's not that I don't love Liam as much as I love his brother who by virtue of being firstborn was signed up for every cute community program we could possibly manage.  It's just that this 1,001 program and the accompanying binder has added, as I suspected it would, another task to our jam-packed schedule.  Insert working mom lament here.

I love books.  I love reading books to my sons.  I love hearing them read to each other long after they should be asleep.  I love looking in the rear view mirror and seeing them both reading while strapped in their car seats.  I love that we listen to chapter books on cd. 

What I don't love is keeping track, in writing, of every single book we read.  I already help Henry do this for a monthly kindergarten assignment.  Each month his teacher sends home a form with an assigned number of books to read and a book report assignment.  Last month Henry had to read eight different genres and a total of sixteen books.  Well, he can read sixteen books in a weekend--easily.  The hard part was finding a biography at his reading level (oh, and I also struggled with The Elves and the Shoemaker--folktale or fairytale?)  For March, Henry must read two versions of  a classic story and compare them using a Venn diagram.  Note to self, we need to get back to the library asap.

Now it's not just Henry that has to prove he is reading at home.  Each night I dutifully complete the binder pages as Liam and I work our way to one hundred books.  Once there, we'll receive the next set of pages from the librarian and take pride in the knowledge that he has accomplished 10% of the goal. 

Okay, the program isn't that bothersome.  Liam enjoys having something that is just for him.  He makes sure I never forget to write down the bedtime titles before I tuck him in at night.  He counts the blank lines on each ledger page.  And unlike Henry's kindergarten assignments, we can count repeated readings of the same book.  Thank goodness because every third line in the binder lists Even Monsters Need Haircuts.  Talk about annoying. 


  1. At least you have instilled a love of reading in them. As I am not in your shoes and can't relate to this difficulty yet, I cheerfully say "read on!!!" When I complain about this, please remind me how I had a little chuckle during your frustration. I enjoyed this post.