Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sharing Hannah...

Sometimes, my little girl amazes me.

We've had a struggle this year with reading. It's not that she can't read, it's that she doesn't WANT to. One time, I asked her why she didn't want to read and she told me that it was because I loved it so much. Ouch. That hurt. Reading is so much a part of my life that I want my kids to enjoy it too...because I know where it can take you. Reading can be an adventure, an escape; it can be knowledge or silliness. It's never mundane; it's always immersing yourself into someone else's life.

She recently got into this series of books called Rainbow Magic. The books are chapter books about fairies. There are a LOT of them (way more than I ever expected). We started off with a boxed set called The Weather Fairies. I had to make a bargain with her. She would have to read, out loud, one of her "easy reader" books before I would read her a chapter of a book. It was STILL a battle, but she would read grudgingly.

There was a lack of emotion in her voice, she would revert to baby talk and mumbled as she read. One day, I picked up her favorite bear, Carter, and made him talk to her, telling her that he couldn't understand her and he wanted her to read to him. All of a sudden, she had a purpose. She was reading to her bear. There was inflection in her voice...she would raise her voice at the end of sentences that were questions. She could tell, just by the book, where the "silly" parts were. And there was no mumbling or baby talk! This has been our routine lately; she reads to Carter and then we read to her.

So...last night was my monthly Bunco night. Scott also had a live on-line class to view, so he asked Hannah if she would read to Scotty. She was adamant that she would not. "He doesn't sit still and doesn't pay attention", she complained. We didn't give in to her arguments, and I told her it would be really helpful if she read to Scotty, to help out daddy. Then I left.

When I got home, I heard this cute story: Scott came upstairs from the office (and his class) to go to the bathroom. Scotty was having his snack. Scott told them to let him know when Scotty was done, he'd come with them to put Scotty to bed; Hannah was still going to have to read. A few minutes later, Scott came out of the bathroom, but Scotty was gone. He asked Hannah were Scotty was and she replied that he was in bed.

Apparently, Scotty finished his snack, so Hannah took him to his room, got a book, read to him, kissed him goodnight, turned off his lamp and turned on his music, and closed the door. Not only did she READ to him, but she put him to bed! That was just the FUNNIEST thing I had heard. She went from fighting us about reading to doing it ALL. Scott went in to give Scotty a good night kiss and he was all happy and excited that Hannah had put him to bed. Silly kids!

More on Hannah...she brought home her weekly pile of papers. I have been sorting through and keeping one or two things and tossing, right away, most of it. There is just so much of it. This one caught my eye, though. #3 was my favorite - and I'm sure "Ante" Sue would agree!

I love the way first graders write!

#1 translation: jimnskis puse is Gymnastics Plus, an open gym place.
#3 explanation (as told by Hannah). I know Grandma is in PA and Memere is the one that visited, but I couldn't write Memere, and then I would have to explain that it's just the word grandma in another language!
Hannah also usually underlines words she is not sure that she spelled right...I find that funny!

I think that soon, there will be a definite love of reading and writing.

As for the Rainbow Magic books...we have the complete first set, The Rainbow Fairies, and the complete second set, the Weather Fairies. We have the first book of The Pet Faries and The Jewel Fairies...but if you click on that link above, you'll see just how many more there are to get....oy!


Bob-kat said...

How clever of you to use her bear to get her to read more! :) Reading is such a wonderful escape that I can totally understand why you wnat your children to enjoy it too.

Reading your story about Hannah putting her brother to bed reminds me of my childhood. I used to do the same for my little brothers and sisters too :) How sweet of her.

Sue said...

Ante Sue's heart is melting, crying and proud. What a great little girl she is. Alot like her Mom :) If we liked it she hated it -- sound familiar? But she HAS to be a great reader since both you and I have voracious appetites -- in the reading department I mean :)

Kim said...

Oh, I just love that story about Hannah putting Scotty to bed! How sweet! You are so blessed. I hope she continues to read and enjoy it. My Jonathan used to love to read, but now baseball and Nintendo have bumped it to third place. My little one is just beginning! He loves to be read to, but reading so far is hard for him.
Thanks for sharing.

Charla said...

You have great ideas! (I taught first grade for 12 years.)