Biscuit is doing really well with his reading. And luckily, he loves doing it. He has to read for 20 minutes a day, and he has never complained. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to love it.
Last year, they started what they call guided reading. The kids are given short books to read on their level. After they read the books, they have to answer comprehension-type questions about the characters, setting and plot. Then they answer more abstract questions, such as why a character made a decision or how it will affect the plot.
The teachers do a good job of making sure the kids who are behind get books they can handle without feeling overwhelmed. And on the other end, they make sure that kids who are reading above grade level get books that will challenge them.
It's hard because Biscuit's teacher last year and this year have both emphasized that these early years go a long way in deciding how the kids feel about reading and learning in the years ahead of them. They say, and I agree, that if you push some kids too hard, they lose that spark and get discouraged. But if you don't challenge some others, it can have the same affect.
So mine and Jeff's job, I think, is to make sure Biscuit has books at home that he enjoys reading. There's so much required reading that he'll have to do for school that what he reads at home needs to be fun and about things he's interested in. We have a really nice library system here in town, and kids books are a whole lot cheaper now than they were when I was little.
We also try to find fun books that coincide with what's going on around him. Like right now, he's thinking about Halloween. So we have some fun and spooky books.
The first one is called "The Little Green Witch." It's a take on "The Little Red Hen," except that in "The Little Red Hen," the characters are a little red hen, a cat, a goose and a dog. In "The Little Green Witch," there's a little green witch, a ghost, a bat and a gremlin. And it has a fun twist at the end. No spoilers!
The other one is a book that Jeff and I bought when Biscuit was about 2 years old. We knew it would be a while before we could read it, but we couldn't resist.
When Jeff and I were kids, we learned to read using the "Dick and Jane" book series.
See Dick run. Run, Dick run.
Come and see, Jane. See Dick run.
Spot runs, too. Run, Spot run.
This book includes the original characters - Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff, Mother and Father - and one other character ... a vampire!
Here are a few lines from the book:
Go outside and play.
There is something outside.
Needless to say, we don't read these books at bedtime!