Friday, February 5, 2010

Reading Challenge

My daughter came home with a reading challenge for school. The top readers in each grade level will get to have lunch with visiting author Michael Patrick O'Neal. My daughter (who, in half-day kindergarten, does not eat lunch at school) wants to win.

Reading is the first step to learning. It's the first step to any sort of education. It's pivotal if you wish to be well-spoken. And it's necessary if you wish to write.

The rules for this challenge say that as long as a book is in the child's hand, it counts.
  • Reading to your child counts
  • Your child reading independently counts
  • Reading directions on homework counts
  • Young children flipping through picture books counts
In the first five days, my child accumulated 215 minutes. She also wanted to know if _writing_ her own story counts. I told her she'd have to ask.

As soon as I finished this week's log and stuffed in it her folder, after she told me she was done reading, she sat and completed a phonics workbook I bought her for Christmas. Then, she did the time one, which isn't reading, but we did have to read the directions. Then she said she was done and wanted to play. What did she play? She read to her dolls.

So, since she "finished" reading, she's read an additional 40 minutes.

But this is the child who used to carry a phone book through the grocery store and read the yellow pages as a preschooler. This is the child who asked her grandmother to read her the thesaurus. This is the child who has sat beside her father and heard every one of the Harry Potter books.

I can read a lot, but even when I'm not busy, I don't read nearly as much as perhaps I should. I think my standards are too high. I like to read good books, and I force myself to read the big trend books. But... I can't relax my adoration of the language to read crap books.

Is that bad?

In my history class, our reading includes a section about the French attitude toward the superiority and the purity of their language over others. They also say that English is a very easy language to speak poorly and that as English speakers we tolerate people speaking our language incorrectly. I concur 100%. How about you?

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