Tip of the Week : Talk About What Your Kids Read

Maybe this tip’s just for me, I don’t know.  I’ve been going around the house lately looking for books that Douglas hasn’t read.  He’s absolutely voracious in his consumption, and anything that I’ve handed him he’s read at least once, with one or two exceptions.  He complained yesterday that the WWII era escape book (which I loved in high school, and grabbed in my desperation to find something new) was boring because it had no dialog, so I dropped that one.  What I didn’t realize however, until I started quizzing him, was that a good chunk of the books he’s read he didn’t really ‘get’.  He’d motored through them and understood most of the words, but comprehended little of the actual point.  Doh!

I should have realized this long ago, but he rarely tells me how he feels about anything (unless he is angry or dislikes something I’ve told him or served him for dinner!) so I lost touch with how he was feeling about what he read.  He’s now making it clear that he doesn’t like sea stories (they make him seasick?!) and of course I know he infinitely prefers comics to all else.  He is 7 for another 4 days, after all :). 

I’ve read (so far) everything I’ve given him to read, but obviously need to start paying more attention to the complexity of the story and give him more room to mature in that department.  I want do a bit more re-reading myself so I can ask coherent questions about it.  Do your kids tell you how they feel about books?  I’m sure it’s partly an age thing, and perhaps somewhat a male thing, but I’d love to hear if it’s just my kid.  It’s not about levels really, but about communication once they’re reading on their own.  I feel like I can’t keep up with him, nor can my bookshelves, so we’ll be hitting the library a bit more often, and debriefing periodically too.