What matters most...

We just finished our Spring Book Fair. I love the opportunity to watch kids find "new things" that are interesting to them- it helps me to make future purchases in the library.

Something I love more than that? The time I get to talk with parents about reading. I love it when  parents ask: 1. How do I know what's right for my child? or 2. This looks too easy for my child, what do you think?

Parent 1:
Me: "When you read for fun, what do you read?"
Parent: "Young adult fiction."
Me smiling excitedly: "Is that your reading level?" (Parent smiles ... she sees where I'm going)
Parent: "I like to escape- to not have to think so much."
Me: "Then let it be that way for your child. Here at school reading can be academic, and it might be work some of the time. Home? Let it be fun. Just because. When I read, I don't read on my reading level- what's the fun in that? Picture books are my favorite. Let me show you....."

Parent 2:
Me to child: "The first question we ask: Does this book look interesting to you?"
Child: "Yes! I love stories about princesses."
Parent looks at me puzzled.
Me to child: "Ok, let's test it out."
Child: starts to read out loud.
Parent: sees joy on child's face, and thanks me.

It's not about the physical selling of the book. That's now what I'm talking about. What matters most is the talking with parents. What matters most is helping them to understand that developing a love for reading is not about a "reading level." What matters most in helping them to be strong readers is simply to get them to love reading. How? By helping them find books that are fun, interesting, and not work to read.


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