Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reading Together

Aaron and I went to see a movie together awhile back. I don't even remember which one now. In the previews, there was a trailer for a new movie coming out: "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief". I said to him then, "That looks good." When we left the theater, we saw a cardboard display for the movie and as we passed, Aaron mentioned, "That's a book. I've seen it in the library at school."

Well, you know how I am about kids' books. I asked him if he wanted to read it, why didn't he check it out from the school library? He said it was so popular, it was always checked out. Besides, he said, reading is dumb. So, of course, I can't take "no" for an answer. The next day I stopped by our local bookstore to buy it, but they were out. "I can't keep it in stock" the owner said, "with the movie coming out, and several classes are reading it as a group in school. But I have another order coming in any day now. I can put your name on one copy." That was enough for me. I ordered a copy and it came in just a couple of days later.

I came home with it, all excited, but Aaron was less than thrilled. Yes, he admitted, the movie DID look good, but he didn't want to read the book and it looked too hard. But I have been trying to find as many ways as possible to improve his reading level, so I basically told him that he had no choice, that I was going to read out loud to him from the book every night. Loud groans and complaining. Stupid mom. Too bad, I told him. Suck it up, we're doing this.

So, the next night I read the first chapter out loud. He listened as I read (and I'm pretty good at reading childrens' books out loud), but no great excitement. The next night I read the second chapter - and these are LONG chapters. It takes a half hour or more to read one. I knew he was getting hooked when he said, "Can I take that to school with me? My teacher gives us time in class to read."

Yes! The next night, he had a bookmark in the pages, and he had actually read about half a chapter at school. The book is full of all kinds of references to Greek gods - the title character, Percy, is supposed to be the "half-blood" son of Poseidon, and a human mother. So when the next Scholastic book order came home from school, there was "The Ultimate Guide to Percy Jackson and the Olympians". Guess what we ordered? He admitted that the guide was "kinda cool" and it has helped with all the Greek mythology I don't remembeer.

It turns out that there are already 6 books in the series. "The Lightning Thief" is the first one. Getting ahead of myself, as usual, I've already ordered the second book in anticipation. Almost every night we read a chapter. Tonight we read two. Our goal is to have the first book finished before the movie comes out this Friday, February 12. I am taking him and Daniel to see it on the opening night as part of his birthday present.

Here's the movie trailer:

So, I'm pretty pleased with this little project. We both can't wait to see how the exciting pages we've read take form on the movie screen.

Reading is such a valuable experience, at any age.


PS. We all had another snow day today. It was so nice to sleep in. We are all on a delay in the morning, but I have to be at school at regular time. It was a nice little break. Stay warm!


Sayre said...

I have a friend who's a middle school teacher. She recommended the book to Z over a year ago and he resisted, still being involved with Harry. Well, he finished Harry and was groping around for something else to read. I saw the trailer long before he did, so I bought the book and put it in his stocking for Christmas. That was it for him... He's now read ALL of the books except the Guide, which I might get for him soon. And Monday is a teacher planning day - guess what WE'RE doing?

Brother Dave said...

You are such a terrific Mom to stimulate Aaron's interest in reading. As Aaron enjoys the movie he will be able to fill in many blanks the story skips.

How wonderful it would be for Aaron to admit the movie was great, but the book was better.

I wish I had developed a taste for reading when I was young. I was never encouraged to read.

Just Dave said...

Reading is an essential part of my life. I have been in many lonely situations but I was never along as long as I had a book. A love of reading will last you for a lifetime.