For some reason, I decided it was time I set my mind to writing a blog post. But this isn’t the one I was going to write. Instead, it’s what came to me after following my way around some links.
I’ve just read a fascinating article called “All in the Timing” that suggests that children reading ahead of their age level isn’t always a good thing. Not that it’s bad children are advanced readers, but that by pushing their reading level, they miss out on enjoying books that they are deemed to have “gone past” or read books before they are emotionally ready for them. It’s a very interesting article that I recommend reading, and one with which I mostly agree.
It got me thinking about Marcus. Sure, he’s only five now and still learning to read, but the days are coming when Dave and I, as his parents, are going to need to start helping him read appropriate books, read with him and monitor his reading to some degree.
I can’t help but be proud that he’s in the highest reading group in his class, even if his reading material is still Honey for Baby Bear or Naughty Max Monkey. As a reader (who currently isn’t managing to read, which is the blog post I was originally planning to write) I want Marcus to know the joy of books.
But by that I don’t mean reading at as high a level as possible to show off how smart he is. I mean that absolute joy of getting caught up in a story and having it speak to your heart. I can do that with adult books, YA books and even children’s book and I’m not ashamed of reading any of them. Why should it be different for a child? (Although obviously in concept rather than with regard to the same books.)
And while I wouldn’t consider Marcus to be an immature five year old, he’s certainly still a little kid and I think it’s very important to cater to his emotional level as well as his reading level. Finding books that do both those things may well turn out to be a challenge. I guess it’s time to start making a catalogue of useful links and resources.