Friday, January 22, 2010

Kinestetic Readers? Let Them Eat Cake!

I received this question from one of my friends: Would you share your favorite children's books?

I know this will sound funny to some, but we loved the Get Fuzzy Comics by Darby Conley. I believe at one time we owned every book he ever published!

They are bite sized, so a kinistetic child can move through them at their own pace. Comics use words and pictures to tell a story, but they are not all created equal.  We chose black and white comics, to not overstimulate the reader, and chose to purchase the books so they could be read and reread at our leisure.
We also loved anything to do with whatever interest we had at the moment: Royal Dairies, American Girl books, and Hank the Cowdog, which can be found through most local libraries or ILL. My readers were connection driven, and wanted a story, so fiction books were the better choice for the majority of our reading in the early years.  We did choose some historical fiction, especially as the reader matured.

The important thing for us was to be interested in what we were reading, not to read from a list compiled by someone who knew nothing about us. Some people call that type of reading "cake" but I say, let them eat cake.  There will be plenty of time for booklists.

Lots of amimal books, and lots of reading in short spirts throughout the day were also key to developing the love of reading.  I personally never imposed grade level limits on reading (above or below), and limited the number of books checked out from the library to 50.  Yes.  I said 50.  She could go though that many in a week, looking for something that held her interest until the next library visit.

Did it work? My daughter now reads an average of 130 books a year and has two book blogs. She publishes book reviews for Thomas Nelson, Bethany House, LitFuze, Revel, and Tyndale and is friends with many Christian authors from around the US. She recently moved her clothes out of a drawer in her dresser to make way for her growing personal library!

I'm not bragging; I'm making a point. Don't be concerned about following traditional methods. Pray, and then do what works for your family!


SQUIRREL! said...

I love this!!!! We have done very similiar things with our children and they all LOVE reading and books. My kinisthetic children love the feel of many types and sizes of books. The library is still our favorite field trip, followed closely by Lowes^.^

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder!

Sometimes I want to push my son to read less "fluffy" books. He's in 4th grade, but is content to read at a 3rd grade level and it's all fluff. We do filter the content and don't allow anything negative or with poor character qualities.

But his reading comprehension level is 6th to 7th grade. I sometimes wish he would want to read better books. I loved to read so much as a child, but didn't have access to a lot of books. I take him to the library every week, he has access to everything.

Oh, well, all in good time. I know I need to let him just be himself.


a King's daughter said...

@Squirrel!~ What a great point you made about feeling many types and sizes. When I was writing the post, I asked my dd17, and she remembered these giant books we had, and how much she loved them, just because they were so big. She still loves the books with deckle edge papers and ribbon bookmarks!

a King's daughter said...

@allthingshealth~ I had some of the same reservations, but I prayed and in God's time, she advanced in her reading. When tested at 16, she was reading on a 15.7 level, or third year college. I guess we're not ruining them with those kinds of test scores!