I am a book lover. I am pretty sure I was born this way. I have never felt more at home than buried in the stacks at the library or the bookmine (and really it is a mine, just floor to ceiling, wall to wall out of control books). I love absolutely everything about books – the smell, the texture and weight of the paper, the words, the knowledge, the escape from reality, the insight into reality.
I once dreamed of becoming a children’s librarian and also an English teacher, but those dreams were deterred and changed a bit. When I learned that I was having a baby 9 years ago, I decided to become my son’s librarian and teacher instead (I will clarify that he does go to school, but we learn at home as well). I started buying books before he was born, fully stocking a shelf with baby books that would be almost literally destroyed (you see I was not aware that he would be much more interested in eating the books!). I didn’t let myself get discouraged by his book-munching. We still read the baby books and continued to buy more – increasing difficulty as we went. Now I am proud to say he is an excellent 8 year old reader and we still select books together.
One sore spot for my son when school started was the requirement to do “Response to Reading” worksheets. I struggled with him to complete these, but to be honest they were completely killing his desire to read. He would read almost an entire book and only a few pages from the end would stop dead, hoping that he would get away with not doing a report. Luckily we have now gotten a teacher who does not overemphasis the work related to making your reading “count”, she stresses learning to read by simply reading and enjoying it. They will do some reports, but it is not to be the main focus of their class. Thank goodness. During the time of begging him to do reading responses, I began to read more for myself and would complete my own responses hoping to encourage him by example. I’ve decided to start sharing those here. They are not formal reports or analysis or summaries, they are simply my thoughts (which do sometimes get overly analytical or summarize but are not structured). I hope you find my thoughts helpful and enjoyable.