Monday, May 23, 2011

The Harry Potter Project

I think we're all aware that my parenting techniques are questionable at best, but I love my kids and I'm doing everything in my power to ensure they grow up to be exceptionally attractive, fully potty trained, well read, fully functioning members of society.

And then I spent a day with my kids.

And decided it might be best to focus on 1 out of 4.

Naturally I decided to start with reading. I mean, I'm an author, spreading my love of the written word should be easy, right?

Um...sort of.

Jack just turned 6 and I decided that in addition to reading picture books every night before bed, we should also start a chapter book of some sort. We'd read a chapter a night and I would magically pass down my love for all things literary to my son. WIN. Even better, he's been BEGGING me to watch The Harry Potter movies, so I made a deal with him. We read the book together first, then we get to watch the movie. Done and done.

He was sold. And so was my 4-year-old, Mia.

Mia: "Pleeeze, Mommy. Can't I read about the wizard too? And Vlammamort?"
Me: "You're too little. We'll pick out a special book that we can read together too, ok?"
Mia: "NO! I want the boy with the lightening on his head."
Me: "How about a princess book?"
Mia: "HARRY Spotter!"
Me: "How about a book about dogs? You love dogs."
Mia: "Maybe."

And so we all headed out to the bookstore Sunday morning and came home with two copies of Harry (S)Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and a copy of Magic Puppy. Mia walked around with Magic Puppy all day long, BEGGING for me to read chapters. We're already half way done.

Meanwhile I had to physically restrain Jack to get him to sit still for 20 minutes to read a chapter. After we finally finished he only had one question:

"Can we watch the movie now?"

So, yeah. I have no idea if they're absorbing any of this or even enjoying it, but I'm bound and determined to do everything in my power to create a family of READERS. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

17 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

First of all, a rare interjection of seriousness: Have no doubt, Lisa, reading to your children, at whatever age, is going to make a HUGE difference in their lives. It may not seem like it, and you may have to bribe and restrain often, but it DOES matter.

Now, why no Scary Plopper for Mia? Is she just too young to handle the length of the chapters? Or are you concerned that casting of spells with creatively bastardized Latin names will turn her off of the serious Latin research that went into TLS? Or influence her toward Wicca?

Summer Frey said...

My mother read to my brother and me for many years. We were both already big readers, but we loved being read to. I remember very distinctly when she read Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes to us. I was around 9, and still remember vivid passages, though I've never read it myself.

Creepy Query Girl said...

lol. I haven't read the books with my kids yet- for the same reason. They have watched the first movie though.

Chelsey said...

My youngest nephew is nine and finally old enough to handle reading Harry on his own. I'm excited about the prospect!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Nicholas can read some words on the guide on TV - Glee, House, hockey and a few more. LOL He can also "read" those books that have the word under the picture. He knows all of his letters and most of the sounds so we're getting there! He's 2 1/2. I can't wait for him to really be able to read!

Sara B. Larson said...

My son is so obsessed with Pokemon, that's all he'll let us read to him half the time. But the other half, he tends to still pick books with pictures. (He just turned 6) I'm glad he loves to read, and hope to be able to read HP with him soon. I'm sure your son will grow to love reading, just give it time. Or something. ;)

Tracey Neithercott said...

Ha ha ha. Harry Spotter. :)

My mom read to me every night before bed. I loved the stories but there was another reason reading before bed was great. Hopefully Jack will soon realize that you get to stay up later when you read before bed. It's so easy to ask for one more chapter...

Marsha Sigman said...

I read to my son before bed until he hit middle school. Still remember discovering Harry Potter. He was passed out by page three and I read until 1:00 in the morning. He wanted to watch the movie instead too. I blame my husband for that.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I know this is weird, but in case you feel discouraged - I HATED reading when I was a kid. I mean, full on loathed. I refused to learn until I was five, and even then hated it. My mom solved this in three ways:
1. I was a Yeager, gosh darn it, and she threatened to disown me if I didn't learn to read. Also, our family had reading dinners, where we would read while we ate. Which is reeeeeeally boring when you don't read and everyone around you has their nose in a book.
2. She started me reading on comic books. Seriously. And I read them quickly. Then she supplied me with more.
3. She always encouraged me to pick my own books, and let me rent 6 or 7 from the library even if she knew I'd only read 2 before we had to return them.

So, that's how my mom made me a reader. :) And I started slow - I didn't read at all till I was five, read pretty much only comics until I was 8, and then morphed into reading the Hobbit when I was 8 1/2.
And now I write.
So....
there's always hope!

Jessi said...

Got a series for them BOTH. My kids and I have made our way through 13 or so of the MAGIC TREEHOUSE books by Mary Pope Osbourne. They're fun and the main characters are a brother and sister so they might like that angle. And they have some pictures too!

Jemi Fraser said...

Good luck! My daughter is the older one and I had no trouble infecting her with the reading bug. But my son? Nope. If he couldn't kick, pitch, throw, catch, run with or chase it, he wanted nothing to do with it!

Julie said...

My biggest fear is that my future children will hate reading! It will break my heart. Let's not think about that...
Good luck!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Very funny. Harry Spotter. I can just hear it, "You're going to sit still and enjoy this book, or you won't get any cookies tomorrow in your lunch. You hear me." Cries, fussing, distracted truck noises. "There, wasn't that fun."

Christa said...

I've found threatening them with having to go "outside" makes my kids totally want to read. Um, I'm not sure this is the right path but it works for us!

beth said...

This? This is brilliant. Seriously. I knew you were one smart lady!

Kare said...

haha Vlammamort :) your kinds will be well trained!!

Laura Marcella said...

This is cute! Good to hear you're reading to your kiddos. Sometimes kids don't develop a love for reading until they're a little older, when they discover an amazing book all on their own. I'm sure your kids are going to be bookworms!

My brother started reading Roald Dahl books to his son (he's 5) and my sister started reading Beverly Cleary's Ramona books and Judy Blume's Fudge books to her son (he's 6). I joked with my sister that reading Ramona and Fudge at this age was a bad idea because it might give him ideas, LoL!