Benjamin didn't do too well in his Reading class this year. It's not because he doesn't know how to read - he's a great reader and when he reads out loud, he uses inflection and really does a great job. He has the same problem I do...my mind wanders when I am reading. I can be reading a book that is fascinating and I'll just start thinking about other things and realize I need to go back and re-read the pages I just "read". You should have seen the surprised look on his face when I asked Benjamin if his mind wandered when he was reading. His eyes got big and he said, "Yes! Even when I read the Percy Jackson books!" (Percy Jackson books are his favorite right now.) So I explained that he will need to learn to adjust, meaning that he's going to have to take notes and probably re-read pages and chapters that he's already read. Not the best news for a kid to hear, but at least he knows he's not alone.
So this summer, we've instituted a reading program for Benjamin after talking to a couple of friends of mine who are teachers and reading specialists.
This past weekend, we went to the library and picked out a bunch of books for B to read. I kind of pushed him to take a book that was written for young readers by an author I really like. The book is called Chomp and the author is Carl Hiaasen. Benjamin wasn't too thrilled about it at first - he read the back cover and also the inside cover - and while it sounded "sorta interesting", he wasn't really sure it would be. I have tried to explain to him that this information isn't always a good indicator of whether the book is interesting and sometimes you have to read a couple of chapters before "getting into the book".
I decided we'd read aloud. I took the first chapter and read it to him. We then sat down with a notebook and wrote out the characters in this chapter, who they were, what they did and then discussed and wrote about what happened in the first chapter. Okay, one down....many more to go. Benjamin read the 2nd chapter out loud to me. Yes, it was good and funny and the storyline was developing. We discussed words he didn't understand and even laughed about things that happened in this chapter. Writing about the 2nd chapter was a bit easier. We did more discussing and he wrote more in his own words. Progress! 3rd chapter - he began reading it out loud and got to a place where the name of a classmate of the main character was mentioned. This classmate's name was "Tingley" of all things! How cool is that?!?!?!
I think this summer reading will be good for all of us. I like to share these stories with B and while he may not ever love reading like I do, he can at least appreciate the fact that some books tell some neat stories. I can't wait to see what happens in these next chapters of Chomp!