Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why I Will Always Let My Boys Read "Fluff"

There seem to be two schools of parenting or teaching when it comes to encouraging kids to read:   One camp wants to see kids reading quality literature and frown upon fluff (books of little substance or consequence that are superficially entertaining) while the other camp is just happy to see their kids reading.

In case you couldn't tell by the title of this post, I'm one of those moms that is just happy to see her kids reading.



Out of my three boys I only have one that LOVES to read and the other two tend to shy away from it. I usually have to cajole them into reading for just 15 minutes.

Having struggled to raise two reluctant readers I have found so much value in allowing them to read fluff that I'm not even sure I can see the validity in the argument that kids should read quality literature! (Kidding!)

Any books that make my non- readers happy to read is just fine by me!  I have always let my boys choose their own books and we count whatever they are reading as part of our schooling.

Evan has struggled for years to learn to read and kept insisting he did not know how long after I thought he really could read.  In the past month or so he has read an entire chapter book by himself and asked if I could request book 2 in the series when he still had two chapters to go.

This made me so very happy!

Did I love the book?  NOPE!

Did I think it was quality reading?  Not even close!

The book series he has fallen in love with is all about Terraria.  I have such a hard time listening to the story and we found a few grammar and spelling errors (which I did explain and point out)... but he LOVES them and that has always been my goal when teaching reading.

I want my boys to fall in love with reading; to look at books and remember having fun with them.  I want them to want to read and not have to force them to read just because it's part of our school day.

I love when they come bounding over eager to tell me about what they read, begging to see if I can find more books like it, and watching them recommend the book to their friends.

So I will always allow my boys to read "fluff."

That doesn't mean we don't read any quality literature; we do. I read book aloud to the boys, we listen to books on CD and I often suggest books for them to try reading that I think they'll enjoy.  Often I can get them to read books with me by taking turns reading pages or chapters together.

Right now my middle son is working his way through Watership Down and Ian is giving Animal Farm a try; both at my suggestion and both books I remember reading myself in school.

I try to make sure they are exposed to a variety of reading materials, authors, genres and styles but I will always encourage them to read books they enjoy; even if it means allowing fluff.

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6 comments :

  1. I knew that I had embraced this position as well the first time I purchased "Duck Dynasty" bio's for my third son for Christmas. :-)

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    1. That sounds like something my oldest would like; he loved that show.

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  2. It is so important to keep the main thing the main thing. To me, that was always a love of learning. Kudos to you!!

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  3. I totally agree. I want them to love reading and learning. They read plenty of "real" books for school work, so as long as they're reading *something* "for fun" (and it's age appropriate), I'm ok with fluff. I don't think my go-to western/Mail Order Bride-themed favorites are exactly hard hitters, but you'll pry them out of my cold dead hands. ;)

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    1. Yeah I certainly read a lot of fluff myself!

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