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Raising a reader

By Robin Dearing
We all sit down at the restaurant table and decide what we want to order. Immediately afterward Margaret asks, "Can I read my book now?" Mar reading Junie B.jpg Sure you can read your book, little kid — what a crazy thing for a 6-year-old to ask, especially when she could be coloring the kid's menu or eating bread and butter while drinking her elusive soda (that she never gets anywhere but the occasional restaurant), but I'm thrilled about it. We've got a reader on our hands. You want my secret to raising a reader? OK, um, yeah, I don't have one. Because that's the kind of mom I am — the kind with a few good ideas and no plan. It's not as if we never read to her or she doesn't see us reading, it's just that we never pushed her to read. She just likes to read and she good at it. She's currently reading at a 3rd grade level (sometimes I just can't help myself but brag). Right now, she's all about the Junie B. Jones chapter books. We've gotten into the routine of getting Margaret to bed early so we can spend 20 minutes with her reading aloud to me. While she reads well, she will try to guess at unknown words lazily instead of sounding them out. Our evening reading sessions seems to be helping her to be more diligent and less hasty. And she's not just happy being a reader alone. Nope. She's been working with our very-soon-to-be 5-year-old neighbor on reading. The other evening, the adults were in one room looking at pictures. When we moved back to the living room, we found this: Mar, Kate reading.jpg Margaret reading to Kate. They could have been doing anything they wanted and this is what they picked. Sometimes I feel like I must be doing at least one thing right.