Humorous Quick Reads About Families With Kids

Reading for Kids – Why Don’t My Grandkids Want To?

Published June 8, 2020 in Reading for kids - 0 Comments
reading for kids met with resistance

Reading for kids ranks high as a skill needed for success. School progress, job performance, even leisure enjoyment depend on reading competence. If book skills are so important, why did my grandsons (15 years and 4 years) fight my efforts to establish family reading time this week?

With the 2019-2020 school year officially ended, summer marched in demanding time for fun and freedom from stress. On the contrary, we discovered just the opposite.

Bad Habits Started During Homeschool

teenage boy distracted from homework by phone

On the first day, the 15 year old and I clashed when I tried to change the bad habits I allowed him to develop during the last three months of school.

From the very beginning of the quarantine, and thus homeschooling, I had trouble motivating our high school freshman to complete school assignments. After trial and error, I discovered that offering him free phone and computer access in exchange for homework did the trick. Indeed he relished the change because my previous rule was one hour of electronics a day. (See Beginning Our Quarantine with Kids – Day 1.)

As a result, we finished the school year with all his assignments complete. But in motivating him to finish his work, I established a precedent of unlimited electronics time. Now with summer here, I was determined to reign in electronics time.

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Let’s Start Family Reading for Kids!

reading for kids met with resistance

As a first step, I consulted my husband for advice. He suggested family reading for kids as an antidote for too much electronics. Great idea! I’ve been a advocate of reading for kids since a friend gave me a copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.

We would start on Monday with 30 minutes of silent reading every day. As a consequence, not only would the boys learn from their own books, the sight of Grammy and Pa Paw absorbed in a story would inspire them to make reading a life long habit.

Monday morning after breakfast, I announced, “Reading time!” I immediately hit roadblocks. Pa Paw dropping out was the first problem. My husband received a technical distress call and spent the next hour on the phone.

The Battle Begins on Day One

In spite of Pa Paw’s absence, I pressed on. The boys’ attitude was the next problem. The night before, I had laid out a half dozen book choices for each boy.

“Each of you, pick a book.”

“I choose this one,” Big Brother said as he picked up a Dr. Seuss book.

“No, you can’t read that one.”

“Yes, I can.”

“I don’t mean you can’t read it, I mean you need to read a book on your own level.”

The teen continued turning pages in the little book.

“I don’t want to read,” said a small voice from under a blankie.

“We’re reading for 30 minutes, but the time doesn’t start until you both choose a book!”

Big Brother lounged on the sofa and Little Brother rolled under the coffee table.

“Fine. You will both listen while I read.”

I picked up my book and began to read out loud. Big Brother called to the dog and Little Brother kicked a book off the table.”

“Ok. Now I will read for 35 minutes.”

Silence fell on the room. I continued reading and after several chapters, closed the book.

“Are we done?”


Two boys flew from the den to the safety of the toy room.

Days Two and Three of Reading for Kids

The next day I made another attempt.

“Reading time.”

“Oh, we will read our own books today. You don’t have to read to us.”

“No. I will read for ten minutes, then you can read your own books for 20.”

Groans and then silence as I began to read.

Day three went about the same. I noticed the boys were quieter each day. Were they silently counting down the seconds or could they actually be listening to the story?

I think we made progress with family reading for kids this week, but the battle was fiercer than I expected.

Update on Seedlings

Seedlings after One Week

Basil Seeds on Left and Bachelor Buttons on Right

The seeds we planted in Gardening for Kids – QWK Week 11 began to grow this week. At least some of them did. I learned a couple of lessons about starting seeds.

(1) Use new seeds. The Bachelor Button seeds I purchased a few weeks ago sprouted just fine. The three-year-old basil seeds all failed except for two little buds.

(2) Plant 4-6 seeds in each hole. The cells with only one seed did not produce at all.

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