The Reading Record

This is Simon's weekly Reading Record from last week.

Most weeks it's missing a few days. Most weeks the minutes read is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes with a bunch of stopping to look at the clock and ask how much more time? Most weeks it's a challenge to get him to do his daily reading. Most weeks I have to decide if it's the battle I want to fight that night.

I want him to want to do it and I don't want it to be a battle. I want him to love it in that "this can change your world buddy" kind of way.

Last week the Edwards' household did some major celebrating as Simon finally found a book he wanted to devour.

It came in his Easter basket and it was very unassuming at first.

He actually got a bunch of books in his basket (including The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Boxcar Children, and The Wizard of Oz). This particular one happened to come in a bucket via a special Easter scavenger hunt set up by our Katie (babysitter/nanny/caregiver - I never know what to call her but man do we love her so maybe I'll just call her "our Katie").

It's a chapter book based on a movie he likes and already knows the story called How To Train Your Dragon: The Chapter Book. Familiar things are a "happy place" for Simon - stories, foods, places, events, etc. He started reading and he didn't want to stop. He was excited. The looks on his face as the words connected with the movie in his head were so awesome. Glee. Joy. Excitement. Happiness.

One night he read for two hours straight and another night for an entire hour.

Tonight we're currently searching high and low for this book. It's gotten misplaced in the upstairs/downstairs shuffle of clothes, books, toys, etc. He's almost done - maybe just a couple pages left.

Here's to hoping he'll connect with another book he wants to devour very soon.

Go Simon go.

UPDATE | He found the book (it was on the bench near the front door). He finished it tonight and came in and told me "I finished the book. And the last word was sunshine."

101 thoughts

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  1. Nicole Hurley

    2011-05-03 23:09:11 -0400

    Yay Simon! That sounds so much like my "7 and 3/4" yr old. He is not too fond of chapter books but he found "Rio" (like the movie) and has blazed through it twice already. I just never know what's going to peak his interest. Very cool for Simon though! Hope he will love the Boxcar Children series. I remember those from long, long ago ;)

  2. Anthea

    2011-05-04 00:09:58 -0400

    Love a book that ends with "sunshine".

  3. Kathy

    2011-05-04 01:56:54 -0400

    Such a great story! Reminds me of when my son (a reluctant reader) discovered the Goosebumps series. Literally, he could not put them down. I feel your joy!

  4. Ulrika

    2011-05-04 02:19:18 -0400

    loved this! We are struggeling with our 9-year-old to get him to read more (or to do the rest of his homework). Got a lot of new books to look for here.

    We have read Kate DiCamillo's books, and the kids loved them, but maybe he is getting too old for them. They especially like the one about Desperaux (sorry, don't know the english title)

  5. kelli t

    2011-05-04 03:29:54 -0400

    Great story! I agree, reading can change your life. My brother was learning disabled (undiagnoised as it was 45 years ago) and my mom felt reading was THE most important thing. She tried everything to get him to read ... finally she hit on it ... Comic books! Hey, whatever works! It must have meant something to him because he saved all those comics .... and a few years ago made a killing on ebay!!! He used the money for a downpayment on a house! LOL Yes, reading can change your life!

  6. Leora Henkin

    2011-05-04 07:28:37 -0400

    Wow! That is wonderful. Better watch out. I remember when the reading bug caught on for my youngest. It was hard to get him to turn off the more chapter mom. Anyway, now it is hard to keep him in books. He shares some qualities with Simon and books are his happy place. Go Simon go!

  7. Anne

    2011-05-04 07:30:07 -0400

    This book is but the first in a series. So the good news is that you have many more books he can read. My son loved the books. We are on book 3 now. You should also read it. I loved the books

  8. Wynn Harle

    2011-05-04 07:46:32 -0400

    Congratulations to Simon ! He found a way to "light" up his mom's life... and his. Ahh, the joy of reading and it's impact.

  9. Christine H

    2011-05-04 09:04:47 -0400

    My son struggled with reading. As a reading addict, it was so hard to watch. After and IEP at school and private tutor, round about the end of 4th grade things started to change. The specialist at school helped me understand that reading comic books and graphic novels really did "count." And every morning at breakfast I would read to him from chapter books. He wanted to know what happened next. Inkheart was a big hit and took months of mornings to read. I had to force myself not to read ahead in the evening! Then my son discovered this table top fantasy battle came (chess + risk + sci fi) and there were chapter books about it....lots of them. He's had a book in hand ever since. It is hard to push them to be challenged but not frustrated so they want to quit. We still do that dance and our son is now 15. But he is doing so wellin school. I'd like to think we step on each others toes a lot less now and the dance is more swan like than the awkward stumbling it felt like back then. Keep doing what you're doing. Simon is blessed to have you as parents.

  10. NikkiW

    2011-05-04 09:51:43 -0400

    That is so cool! It is so awesome when they connect with a book! My daughter got to meet Cressida at a book festival in Edinburgh (Scotland) she got two books signed by the author, one for her and one for her younger brother. They are both reading the series and love, love, love them! She told my daughter they are working on another movie!! Can't wait!

  11. lenea

    2011-05-04 10:18:54 -0400

    Go Simon Go!! How awesome.. my youngest daughter was like that as well and we did find a couple books that she liked but we also got her a bookmark that kept track of her reading time and that really seemed to keep her reading to see if you she could better her time every night.

  12. Reneecrops

    2011-05-04 11:49:47 -0400

    Congratulations Simon and Ali...may this be the first of many loved books!

  13. ~Michelle

    2011-05-04 13:01:09 -0400

    I really love that the reading card has your signature on it, AND Grandma's! as well as Simon's writing. So precious. I have only one item with any of my Grandmas' writing and I am not even 100% sure it was hers (my grandparents barely knew how to write English)

  14. Orange Gearle

    2011-05-04 14:10:30 -0400

    WOW! I love this story! I am a Literacy Coach in an Intermediate 5th and 6th grade building. I'm so glad that others have already tuned you in to other books in this series and other places to find books for him. Isn't it absolutely wonderful to watch him enjoy it!!!!??? One of my favorite things for sure!

  15. madeline St onge

    2011-05-04 14:36:21 -0400

    Yay Simon. Maybe the last word was 'Sunshine' because it was describing Simon

  16. Alicia

    2011-05-04 16:35:21 -0400


  17. Dianne

    2011-05-04 20:06:08 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    I love how you share your world on your blog. I have a son a teeny bit older than Simon, but he also struggled with reading in the beginning. I so wanted him to love reading, because I love reading. But after some serious struggles, some wonderful teachers and me and my hubby keeping at it, like magic, it finally worked! He loves to read, For him the book was "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". I got it for him at the school book fair after another mom told me all the kids were going wild for it. He read it, he loved it. And one night when I came home from work ( I worked evenings at the time, so I arrived home around midnight) I found a drawing of the book on a paper towel left out for me to find, with the words I finished it 217 pages!!! under it. A few tears may have been shed on my part. And of course, the paper towel now has a home in a scrapbook! So happy for Simon that he finally discovered the magic of reading! And thanks for sharing your story and bringing back all those memories for me!

  18. June

    2011-05-04 21:39:14 -0400

    How exciting for your family!

    My son is all over the Dragon Slayers' Academy books. He can't put it down. The stories are simple enough for the 7 to 10 age group but is funny and engrossing. The series has given way to many drawings of the characters and scenes from the books, which are absolute memorabilia treasures.

    We've also read all the Magic Treehouse books and some of the Geronimo Stilton books.

  19. sarah

    2011-05-04 22:49:03 -0400

    oh, this just made my heart smile! thank you for sharing this sweet story!

  20. Teresa

    2011-05-05 00:07:58 -0400

    WTG Simon! Although my daughter can read very well she says she doesn't like to. The only thing I can get her to read and spend any time with are joke books. So I'll go with that for now.

  21. Megan

    2011-05-05 01:31:45 -0400

    Yeah Simon! Another book suggestion that is a series of three Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon)
    Ruth Stiles Gannett (Author)

    Here is to finding that book that sparks a lifelong LOVE of reading!

  22. Kathi

    2011-05-06 08:26:42 -0400

    Terrific! My daughter was like that. She had one book she read over and over that she really liked. I'm ok with reading a book multiple times. At least their reading.

    It is also important to teach our kids that if when they read a book and they are 1/4 the way though it and they still don't like it, it is ok to stop reading it and start another. Not every book is for every person.

    It takes a while for some kids to find the kind of books they like. Some of the now older books are just too slow moving for todays kids. I tried to get my girls to read the little house on the prairie books but they were just to slow moving.

    Keep up the search for book Simon likes. Eventually it will pay off.

  23. Jenny and Jimbob

    2011-05-06 21:53:55 -0400

    Definitely read some of these classics! How exciting!

  24. Jaime

    2011-05-08 01:29:03 -0400

    I love the feeling of reading a book that I just never want to put down. I am glad that Simon has discovered that feeling as well. : )

  25. Julie M

    2011-05-09 14:24:30 -0400

    Congratulations on finding a book that your child loves. Isn't that an awesome feeling? Both of my kids are such book lovers. I am blessed that they will put themselves into a comfy spot & devour a book. My son struggles with reading books at his "level" for school. He doesn't want to read those books since he doesn't see them as a challenge. I am so thankful that his homework reading is something that he can select himself. Take that book & let him love it as much as he would like. Try finding anything similar that he will enjoy. So glad that he found something that he loves.

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