Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baby Steps and Big Leaps

Last night I tested my soap box theory. I decided to encourage Garrett to give Crash, by Jerry Spinelli another chance, (even though the words on the page are teensy and he practically needs magnifying glasses to read it). If he didn't take the bait I was going to read a few chapters to him just to see if he enjoyed the story. Well, I didn't even have to suggest it. He tackled that book like a true linebacker. (Couldn't resist that metaphor since the book is about football).

He grabbed a baseball card to keep his place on the page and began reading out loud. I sat on the mushroom chair in the corner and listened, my mouth gaping open. He was incredible. He was smooth. He was . . . funny.

He kept pausing and laughing to himself. "Listen to this," he would say. And then he'd read me a passage with matching voice inflection. He was loving it. These passages had nerve.

"Mom, listen, when Crash was in first grade he was sitting in his yard digging with his little red shovel and this little runt comes walking up the sidewalk" . . . then he starts reading. I feel a lump in my throat. He's reading with . . . attitude:

It was coming from a funny-looking dorky little runt walking up the sidewalk. Only he wasn't just walking regular. He was walking like he owned the place, both hands in his pockets, sort of swaying lah-dee-dah with each step. strollllll-ing. Strolling and gawking at the houses and whistling a happy little dorky tune like some sneezy or snoozy or whatever their names are. A few minutes later:

"He stuck out his scrawny chest. It says "Hi, I'm a flickertail"

"What's a flickertail?"

"A flickertail is a squirrel. There are lots of them in North Dakota. That's why it's called the Flickertail state. What is Pennsylvania called?"

"The Poop State."

That line got repeated several times, as you can imagine.

But that was just Garrett. I haven't even started with Wyatt. He was laying on his bed, completely focused, reading White Fang under his breath.

On and on he read. Garrett finished chapter 1 and held his place at page 5, but Wyatt kept reading. Garrett brushed his teeth and climbed into bed, and still Wyatt read on. I checked the page, 58, before I started getting Zach to bed. He was still reading when my husband and I went out for a walk, page 66. When we returned he was asleep with the book beside him. I opened it to the book mark. Page 72!

I put on the Rocky soundtrack and went to bed with a smile.

Take THAT, GATES reading test!

1 comment:

Laura said...

ANOTHER thing I like about my boys reading more- is the dialogues books inspire.

I love it when one of my sons says, "hey mom- listen to this!" and it is something from a book.

I can't wait for Hatrick to start reading.. because those beginning books they send home to read every night from school are so painful to read.
Dot has a Spot.
Spot looks at Dot.
Spot and Dot both likes dots.
But Spot does not have a dot.
Hey Dan! Can you help? Write a beginning to read series?