The first step in raising a child who loves to read is to read to the child when he is a baby. I read to my fetus while he was in utero. Well, I read my regular books but I read them aloud occasionally because I thought it might help.
As T got older, I read to him more and more. I read to him before bed almost every night. Our copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear has seen so much love that it’s barely readable anymore. Pat the Bunny was destroyed years ago.
Now I have a 7-year-old who loves books. He enjoys time in our reading room just as much as I do (if not just a little bit more). He recreates scenes from his favorite books as he’s playing with his Legos.
This is all very well and good. Believe me. I wouldn’t know what to do if I had a child who didn’t enjoy reading. I love the evenings we spend curled up next to each other, me reading my book and him reading his.
The problem is that my son is reading at a fourth/fifth grade level and he doesn’t really want me to read to him anymore.
We’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for months now. I was reading half a chapter a night (those chapters are long) to him. It was taking a lot of time, but we were slowly making our way through. I’d already read the first three books to him, and I was having so much fun enjoying the adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione with my son.
Several nights now, T has asked that he read Goblet of Fire to me.
Don’t get me wrong. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love listening to my son read to me. I love it a lot. I just get a little sad that I don’t get to be the one reading. I am much more involved in stories when I am doing the reading. It’s just the way I work.
When I was in college taking English classes that required lots of reading, I had a best friend/roommate who was the opposite kind of learner. She comprehended much better when she was being read to. So, yeah, we were a couple of 19-year-olds doing our homework together where I would read aloud and she would listen. It worked out really well for the both of us.
So when my son is reading aloud to me, I am enjoying the experience more than the story. Things slip by and I just don’t get as into the story as I do when I am doing the reading. Even if it’s a book I’ve read several times. It’s just…different.
I don’t want him to stop reading to me. I don’t want to stop reading with him. I just want him to agree to switching off the responsibility of the reading. I want to enjoy the experience of being read to by my son, but I also want to enjoy the story.