Friday, September 23, 2011

Ode to Reading

As the youngest brother, Kenyon keeps a keen eye on the older two.  As with many youngest siblings, we're seeing that this place in the family is producing a 3 and a half year old with some advanced skills.  Now, many of these skills aren't necessarily the ones you think about when you fondly picture older siblings bestowing their knowledge upon their younger counterparts.  One such recent skill--farting on demand--has had disastrous results of which I'll spare you the details.  But--some very delightful skills are passed along as well.  Kenyon has the benefit of having his brothers model their curiosity for the world and love of learning; in particular, a love of reading.

Jackson, at 8 years old, is a self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert, having read the series backwards and forwards.  He is now immersed in the tales of Percy Jackson.  Alex, at 6 years old, is just shy of finishing the 4th Harry Potter book.  Our dinner table conversation is often sprinkled with Harry Potter trivia challenges shot back and forth between these two, each one trying to best the other.  It's also sprinkled with us saying that knees should not be visible at the table, that bubbles shouldn't be blown into milk, and that food should stay on their plates, but I digress....

Our Friday afternoons unfailingly include a trip to the Park Hill library to stock up on fresh supplies to start our weekend.  Each of us leave with armfuls of books and books on tape, arrive home, and I watch from a safe distance while they pounce on the stack like wolves.

If Kenyon is anything like the readers that his brothers are, I'd be thrilled (and I may begrudgingly accept the less-tolerable skills they've handed down.............Okay, it's doubtful, but I don't know if I have any choice.).

side note--if you have very young children and haven't yet heard of BOB books, trust me--just go ahead and buy them.  I typically heavily favor library rental, but in this case it's worth the purchase.  Here--I've made it easy for you.  The link to the first series (currently on sale!) on Amazon is here (and I have not been compensated by anyone for writing this).  Be forewarned--no thrilling plot lines or witty characters grace these pages, but they are the ideal very first books for kids to gain confidence in their ability to read.

Last month, I set off on a hunt for the elusive BOB book series that was rumored to be hiding in the wily depths of our basement storage space.  I happy to report that I completed the mission, narrowly escaping an untimely death by teetering stack of paint cans.  I dusted off the trusty Set 1 of the BOB books which helped my other sons identify themselves as readers and gauged Kenyon's interest in reading.  He got through a couple of pages but he didn't really have the stamina for more than that, so I didn't push it and they sat for a while, untouched on the living room bookshelf.

Shortly after we woke up on a recent Sunday morning, Kenyon randomly asked me if he should read a BOB book.  I responded that it was a great idea, and we cozied up on the couch.  The first book contains just four letters and short vowel sounds, but still, he read the whole book (and the second one as well) and was so proud!  A brief video of Kenyon's first real attempt at reading a page is below for your viewing pleasure...


  1. Wonderful post. The BOB Books are great, I loved watching my students (way back when I was teaching a Montessori casa) piece together sounds and realize they formed a word and they were reading. With my own boys we currently have two out of three readers and I find the only problem for the youngest is that I expect him to do a lot more reading on his own than I ever did with his brothers. Continue to read aloud to them all, it is one sure fire way to keep them in the wonderful world of books.

  2. Cid, thanks for commenting! Our boys have all gone to Montessori school (our youngest is still there). When I'm my best parenting self, I model myself after a Montessori teacher; I love how the Montessori method sees even the youngest of children as capable human beings.
    I agree with you about the expectations of a youngest child; my husband and I both constantly remind ourselves that he's only three when he's being very....well, three. :)

  3. Annie, are there any other books you suggest? My daughter is 16 months, would sorts of activities do you suggest? Looks like you are doing great with your boys and would appreciate any advice being that I'm a new parent :)