Lately, I have had to prevent myself from saying, “Stop reading and play with your sister.”
Stop reading? What!?
I have been tempted because Katherine so desperately wants to play with her big sister and because the little sister feels particularly left out when Caroline is reading to herself. I always offer to read to Katherine at times like these but she knows that is different. She wants to be doing exactly what Caroline is doing.
Caroline now spends days at a time reading. And I do mean days. I have felt more grateful than ever before for our fantastically wonderful public library. Without it, I’m not sure we would have any money left. Yesterday, Caroline read five books. Admittedly, she is not reading high brow literature but her reading volume is incredible. I am practicing what I preach and celebrating her love of easy series reading. She is devouring the Babysitter’s Club books faster that I can find them.
As I find myself questioning the quality of her choices, I can’t help but be overjoyed in the amount that she is choosing to read.
“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”
And there are reams of research supporting McKenna’s statement. I’ve recently been investigating the work in the book Creating Life Long Readers Through Independent Reading. Just one study conducted by J.T. Guthrie in 2004 notes that
“a student in the top 10 percentile reads as much in eight days as a a student in the bottom 10 percentile reads during the entire year! Proficient fourth graders read about 500% more than less proficient ones, and struggling fourth graders needed to read three to five hours daily if they were ever to catch up.”
To that I say, bring on the Babysittter’s Club!