Tuesday, July 18

Golden Keyboard (& Works For Me!)

I finally got around to reading all the great comments on my Opinon Saturday question about appropriate reading for young teens. Thanks, everyone! This week's Golden Keyboard goes to Pieces of wisdom has two parts: Teen Reading. Great thoughtful post!!

In case you're wondering, here's how we handle kids and reading at my house (oh, here's my Works For Me Wednesday too!) At our house my teenagers scan the library on their own. I do recommend books at times and try to help them vary their reading so that they are not only reading 'fluff'. I have been known to pay a teenager a buck or two to read a classic that I think is particularly worthwhile but that I know is a more challenging read.

We also talk about what goes into their heads. I think young teens don't need their heads filled with romance years before they are old enough to marry, so I encouraged my girls to wait on these types of books, though I don't outright forbid romances nor do I check every book they read.

I do keep track of their current interests by now and then choosing a book off their stack to read myself-- partly just because I love to read! I will sometimes also ask which book they enjoyed most this week and why. I think it is valuable to be familiar with what our kids read.

Once when my oldest was 10 or so, my sister Sophie, bored while babysitting my kids, picked up one of my daughter's Babysitter's Club books to read. I had not ever read one of these books-- just assumed they were fine. So I was surprised when Sophie told me that one scene in the book was of a seance. This was not something I had ever discussed with my daughter and not something I expected to be in this book geared towards 9-12 year olds. So I appreciated the heads-up from my sister and the chance it gave me to talk with my daughter about it.

One final thing we do to encourage a love for the good stuff is to read to everyone. My hubby always has a novel in progress with our big kids. This weekend around the campfire my SIL, whose kids are a little younger than ours, was asking our kids about good read-alouds.

It was very gratifying to hear all four (ages 18, 16, 14, and 12) reel off title after title. Many my husband had read to them over the years. Some they read on their own. But all were worthwhile books that I felt confident had added to the good stuff inside their heads.

Our reading strategy works for us!


At 12:55 AM, Blogger Joy said...

I love this idea! I don't have teenagers yet, but when I do, I'm going to keep a close eye on what they read. We also have family reading time, which is everyone's favorite time of the day!!
You are an inspiration, by the way! I would love to have 12 kids, but alas, my hubby says 4 and no more! We have three now, so I'm praying for twins the next time I get pregnant!!

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Mieneke said...

What a great way of structuring and following the reading in your house.
It's nice to see such involvement in reading. I often get the idea that the importance of it is lost on many parents around me...

At 5:05 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

This is great. My 3rd grader is a big time reader, and I even have to moderate what she reads. Like you, I just don't want her to exposed to some of the more mature things in life (like romance). The book could be fine, but why include things of that nature in a book geared for a 9 year old?? I think that I'm doing tips for reading with preschoolers for my T13 tomorrow. Love reading, love to read about reading. Thanks, Mary!

At 6:11 AM, Blogger Slughorn said...

It always surprises me how much the dchildren love having a parent read to them. Even 6th and 7th graders.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Great reading ideas!

I'm amazed at the "fluff" my parents let me read because they just didn't monitor. I'm going to be a bit more picky with my son. I really like the idea of regular read-alouds.

I've posted a WFMW tip as well. Stop by and take a peek. :)

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Shalee said...

Wonderful idea, Mary. I think that reading aloud and modeling what a great book is very vital to instilling a love of reading.

Another thing I do (but I only have 2 kids, so it's a bit easier for me) is that I try to read what they are reading. By doing this, I am making myself available as a book discusser and my kids ask all sorts of questions that I can usually answer. We can discuss what is good and what goes against God's way of life. My daughter (10) is catching a lot of it on her own; my son is still in Dr. Suess, so I've got a bit time to work with him.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger GranolaGirl12 said...

I'm so proud of your literary kids! Way to go, Mom. I have such great memories of my dad reading the Cronicles of Narnia to me and my sisters that I bought it for my husband when our son was born

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Pieces said...

Thank you so, so much for the Golden Keyboard award! I feel very honored.

I love the way you handle your kids' reading. It makes me sad that we are not very good about reading outloud to our kids. Summer schedules are so unpredictable--maybe it would be a good goal for the fall.

Thanks again, Mary!

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Nikkie said...

I think its great to keep track of what everyone is reading. I remember when I was a teenager I was way too into the horror genere, I would have loved it if someone would have been able to give me some recomendations!

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Umm 'Skandar said...

Hey, how about posting a list of great read-aloud books? We love to read aloud to the kids but are running out of books, we'd love suggestions!!

A big favorite here is Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon & all the sequels especially Harry Cat's Pet Puppy!

At 2:54 PM, Blogger lovegreendog said...

what a great discussion you've opened - not only here, but in my home as well. thanks :)

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Sylvie said...

I think that is really great. I really look forward to sharing my love for reading with my son (and future children), right now we are in the "Guess How Much I love YOu" "Pat the Bunny" stage.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Umm'skandar--I just read a great book, the Penderwicks. I think it's appropriate for boys and girls ages 6 on up to teens. I loved it myself. I even wrote some questions for family discussion. There is info posted on my site: Family Book Club

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Also--we loved Cricket in Times Square, but I didn't know that there were sequels, so I'm going to look into that!


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