Thanks to Ian’s recent leap in reading speed, I now have hope that he will be able to eat up books very quickly for the rest of his childhood. However, because he still doesn’t necessarily enjoy the act of reading itself, he still isn’t reading for pleasure. I must tell him to read, or it doesn’t get done. Even when I think I am being clever by telling him he can either go to bed or stay up and read for an hour, he chooses to sleep. Even when I allow him to earn money or lego pieces for his time spent reading, he still chooses not to. He flat out doesn’t like to read.
Because I still want him to read, but because I don’t want to torture him, I am only requiring him to read his Bible and 30 minutes a day of something else. (Right now, that “something else” is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.) So he still reads for about 40-45 minutes a day. Beginning in January, I am thinking of kicking it up a notch, by having him read for two 30-minute sessions per day.
Unfortunately, unless he suddenly develops a great interest for books over the next year or two, he won’t have time to read the classics during childhood. I don’t want him to miss out on this important aspect of our culture. The other day, while wandering around our local library, I stumbled upon some books on cassette tape. Many of them were classics. So I immediately came home and purchased a little Walkman from eBay.
Yesterday, my husband helped me hook the Walkman up to some speakers, and I played “The Boxcar Children” for Ian while he was playing Minecraft. He happily listened to the entire book in one sitting! I started to wonder if there were any online recordings of books in the public domain. After searching a bit, I stumbled upon LibriVox, which is a community of people who have recorded themselves reading books and poetry from the public domain.
As I type this, Ian is listening to the last chapter of Doctor Dolittle. He has been listening for the last three hours while playing with his Legos, and that’s all it takes to get through the whole thing. So, needless to say, I am quite excited. With tools such as my local library and online audio classics to choose from, I feel as though he can listen to a classic all the way through at least once a week. It doesn’t feel like cheating because I am still having him read quite a bit, just not as much as I read when I was his age. I am just happy that he will be able to enjoy the classics growing up!