Monday, December 27, 2010

What My Child is Reading - The Older Children

With all the excitement, and busyness of this last week, I didn't read a lot to the younger children beyond the Christmas story out the Bible. Well, that's not true either, there were a number of random books handed to me throughout the week, that I read quickly to whichever ones were standing nearby - but don't ask me to remember what they were.

With "school" officially on break, the weather too cold to make it fun to go out, and old video games looking pale, and boring in comparison to the new, hoped for arrivals, the older children had time on their hands to fill. And, happily they did turn to some books.

G (age 11), brought home several of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, from the library, which she and A (age 9) read through. I think T (age 13) might have read them too, but in more of a this-book-is-here-so-I-might-as-well-read-it kind of way. G, has not been a voracious reader, but really took to the comic book like style of this series.

It's at times like this, that I'm truly thankful for parent review sites, like Focus on the Family provides (click the link to check out their review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

Even if you don't totally agree with the views of the website, they provide a nice summary of books, including reading level, highlighting potential areas of interest, or concern, and offer a series of discussion questions, which if nothing else make for a nice comprehension quiz.

T (age 13), has been floundering between series. He enjoys reading, but he likes to have a series to read, and he just hasn't had one lately. Finally, in desperation, I "assigned" him C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader, from the Narnia series. He read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe some time back (also at my urging), and didn't really care for it. He's not a big fantasy fan. But, I thought maybe jumping in a little later in the series, especially with the exciting movie trailers currently out, might pique his interest.

He dutifully read the book, ask a few quick vocabulary questions, and didn't mention it again. It was disappointing, but not surprising.

We will continue looking for a challenging series, that he can enjoy. In the meantime, I finally got around to reserving more titles from the Creative Minds Biography series for him.

The reading level is only 9-12, so a little easy, and not the vocabulary challenge I would like. But, in the last few weeks, he's spouted quite a few facts about Louis Pasteur.

Like, for instance, when we were discussing whether the store bought eggnog had raw eggs in it (a question from A), and whether it had been pasteurized, T went off on an entire explanation of pasteurization for his younger sister. When I ask him where he learned that, he said from the Louis Pasteur book, that I had asked him to read.

I looked it up, and it's been nearly a year since he read that book. Needless to say, I'm excited to see if the other books in the series will prove as memorable for him, easy readers or not.

Find out what other families are reading at this week's What My Child is Reading blog hop, hosted by Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Joyful Learner said...

Thanks for the link! I like the questions they pose for reflection. We're reading through the Rainbow Magic series now and the stories don't capture my interest but now I'll try to ask similar questions. JC seems to like them ever since taken a break from MTH series.

I loved fantasy, mystery, and sci fi as a kid. My sister, not so much. She was into Sweet Valley High series which I could not get into. I did not care for series but I think they helped her with reading which she did a lot more than me. For me, it was a rare book which hooked me into reading.

It's interesting to compare everyone's tastes in books. What were some of your favorites?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Joyful Learner - As a tween Madeleine L'Engle was my favorite author, and I read all the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.

As a teen I liked Douglas Adams (I probably won't encourage my children to read him - he was NOT a believer). I really liked sci-fi, when I wasn't reading Agatha Christie.

Then, as an older teen I read most of the classics - but that was due more to a crush on an English teacher, than an actual interest in the authors :)

Marcee said...

Ha Ha! I loved the Sweet Valley High series, although I don't reccomend them for my kids now. Leah, we're starting with the very first Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician's Nephew, for read aloud at night. We got one of the boys "A Christian's Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia" from CBD for Christmas. So, it should be interesting reading that along with the books, along with some of the activities. I'm also going to look into that series that T is reading. Looks good!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Marcee - The Narnia guide sounds interesting. Maybe if we read them together the kids would like them more.

Ticia said...

I'm a big fantasy fab so I'm struggling to think of age appropriate series that aren't fantasy

Gary paulsen maybe. I think he did those survival books. Not sure

Wonder Mom said...

Thank you so much for posting the Focus on the Family reviews site! The questions and reviews will prove very useful with our schooling!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I was a sci-fi fan as a teen and loved Isaac Asimov books. I wonder what series will capture Anna's attention when she is older. So far she really enjoyed audio books of Charlotte's Web and Little House, but they are beyond her reading abilities just yet. I am contemplating Chronicles of Narnia even though I personally don't care for them.

Vanessa said...

My son is 14 and also enjoyed the Wimpy Kid series. I love to find sites with book reviews for my kids. Anything to help me be a better parent. Thanks for sharing the link. ~

Christy said...

My 13 year old loves to read too so I would love any book suggestions you have at any point. He will read just about anything, but really enjoys historical fiction and biographies. The last series he read was by Rick Riordan - the Percy Jackson books.

I love your comment about the crush on your English teacher.

Jackie H. said...

Interesting titles. I was wondering about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Not being in the classroom any more, I sometimes feel out of the loop on how kids are responding to the new material that is published.
Also, I have to say, even while being a voracious reader as a kid, I NEVER got into the Chronicles of Narnia. My thing was historical fiction (although I didn't know a label at the time, I don't think). Rather than just reading a series, I would read all the historical fiction on one time period and then move to another time. If that's an interest you could try that, it's kind of like creating your own "series".