Reading journeys of my kids - Part 2

Reading journeys of my kids – Part 2

What I am reading to the 5 year old. Please read the first part in a 6 part series on reading with my kids here.

This is the very first post or indication that I have a second son who also may be exposed to books. Terrible mothering aside it’s not my proudest moment and I should know better but we parents propagate myths about our kids which they internalize and I am guilty !

How many times when they are young do we say that this one is the reader and this one is the social butterfly. This one will become a scientist while this one will become a chef? He is sporty one and she is the academic one? You know it’s wrong to say these things at such tender ages but you still do. You may not say it in front of the kids but they still know.

For many reasons my younger son, A, now 5 never took to books. I can list them at the top of my head

  1. By the time he was born I was reading a lot more fun books to N who is 2.5 years older than him
  2. I simply could not do Goodnight moon and brown bear brown bear again convincingly with my heart saying I am having fun and be honest about it.
  3. I didn’t enjoy repetition and that’s what you have to do, repeat books again and again to younger kids.
  4. I made him be around us while I was reading to N. Even though I knew A did pick up a lot over time I totally lost him as he lost us.
  5. He started saying I hate books and I hate reading as he started to gauge the interest I took in reading to his brother and the lack of it with him.

So what did I do? I let it be. I said maybe he won’t ever like books and that’s ok. Maybe he will and that’s ok too. But I did feel a lot of guilt about not being able to summon the same amount of enthusiasm for him.

But that’s changed now. During these last almost 3 months where we’ve been home bound something changed. For the past few years life had become really routine. I had way more time when my older son was 2 and 3 and 4 to find time to read to him and lots more patience. Once N turned 5.5and A was 3 N’s school hours in kindergarten were really long and I felt that there was no real time as such for the younger one to do things only with him. So I included him in N and my reading time which he didn’t really want and we drifted apart completely on that front. I convinced myself that the little guy didn’t like books and liked other things.

Now ofcourse because we don’t have a particular bedtime thanks to school being out indefinitely we have almost 2 hours before bed to read.  The kids are brushed and in bed by 9. N reads his book independently and I sit next to him reading aloud to A for about 40 minutes. Then I read a book to both of them or only N depending on the book while A falls asleep.

Because it’s unhurried and I have managed to convey to A through my body language that I want to read with him, he wants to read with me. I guess what I am trying to say is this time will never come back. Grab it, do the thing you really wish you had more time for with your kids.

I’l list all the books we have read together during lock down so you’l have a ready reconner of books you can read aloud to a 5 year old. I’l try adding the books we read after this which he enjoys to this post too, but in any case I will be covering most of them in the coming posts when I write about what I have read to N and what he has read.

Reading aloud is very important as I will highlight in my next post so stay tuned.

if you’re considering purchasing I’d love it if you click on the links on my blog. That way I’l make a tiny bit of money from amazon and maybe buy more books! But even better than clicking on the links here is if you can buy from an independent bookstore or small business.

We started reading the abridged Paddington in a suitcase picture books. All 6 of them. I’ve read these to him before and he had read enjoyed them.

We read Spot bakes a cake repeatedly since A baked many cakes these months. These were old favourites and he had a comfort level with them, that surfaced because we picked up reading after such a long time. Plus he has started reading some of the words.

Then read this books a few times. Amelia Bedelia treasury, which he really enjoyed.

Moved on with Mercy Watson. Reading this series aloud to him was great but it got us all eating hot toast and butter in the first 3 weeks of lockdown. Please remember that N was independently reading these the same time. 

Moved on to Mudpuddle farm. Suddenly all his pretend play revolved around making Duplo farms and all the animals were named after the mud puddle farm animals. He chuckled and guessed the storylines and had tremendous fun being read aloud this series of 6 books.

I then read aloud 2 complete books of Paddington bear to both kids. They really enjoyed reading them I had tried reading them to N when he was 4 but hadn’t really got anywhere. But I think I laughed out loud more than they did. So much so that I couldn’t complete sentences at some points.

I read aloud Mrs. Pepperpot stories, he really enjoyed reading about this little lady who shrinks to the size of a pepperpot and would try and second guess what would happen. The good thing about these and Paddington was that they were different stories every night and not continued like a chapter book. So you are starting fresh with a new story and this is great for this age of reader. I didn’t like them though, i found them very regressive and stereotype but the kid lapped them up.

Tried reading the magic tree house first book, the land of dinosaurs but it didn’t capture his interest much so stopped after the first book. On the whole though I highly recommend this series as a stepping stone into serious reading.

Fat Lawrence by Dick Smith King was a short and fun read

Mukesh starts a Zoo by Ruskin bond was short, simple and easy to read chapter book.

The adventures of Sophie mouse, three stories of a mouse called Sophie and her friends Hattie the frog and Owen the snake captures his imagination. Sophie loves art and is constantly making paints from natural sources like flowers and berries. This inspired A for an entire week to try and making paints and he was in the kitchen working hard trying to convert dried coffee beans to paint as well as with haldi, dried leaves etc. nothing worked but the experiments continued.

Two books of Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater was also good but now that I read the books above I found them very simplistic.

Petu Pumpkin the tiffin thief was a book he really enjoyed. The reading range of this book is 8 plus and it dealt with a bunch of 3rd graders who formed a secret club to plan how to stop Pushkin the petu pumpkin from stealing their lunchboxes. This was a really fun read.

The chocolate touch. A loved this book. He read a line saying John was Candy mad and spent all his money on chocolates and for the apst few days he has gathered tons of empty boxes and all his pocked money and stored it in a corner called his secret place so that when he can finally go to the shops he is going to take all his money and buy chocolates to fill up the boxes as he is candy mad. The story takes on a somber tone but I love it.

Mrs Pigglewiggle, was a book he picked out of the shelf and enjoyed. It’s really funny but all the books about the olderwomen Mrs. Noodlekoogel, Mrs Pepperpot and Mrs. Pigglewiggle I bought for N based on my niece’s recommendation but he didn’t like any. A is lapping them up.

All 4 stars. I am currently reading this aloud to both boys. It says for age group 8 to 12 on the back but OH its soooo beautifully written. Its about a 11 year old girl who loves to cook and dreams of becoming a food critic. The recipes and the foos descriptions are lovely and A is hooked. She has dreams and passions and writes so beautifully and N is hooked. I am hooked just because I am reading such a delightful children’s book. WIN WIN WIN.

Currently also reading Greetings from somewhere, his first mystery series!

Horrid Henry. All round fun for boys. Name calling, rudeness, teasing galore. Beware and proceed with caution. My kids love these books but they have given rise to some relentless teasing which I had to work really hard to reverse.

In picture books he pulled out The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater, I highly recommend this book. Both kids have requested for this multiple times.

One bonus in this whole process is my passion. At my house at any moment there are always 6 books minimum floating around with booksmarks in them. 2 I am reading, 2 N is reading, and 2 A is being read to. Hubs is not a reader of books.  Here’s a picture of the books the 3 of us are currently reading. 2, N is reading independently, one higher lever read another easy and fast read, 2 I am reading, one heavy one light, and one I am reading aloud to A and another I am reading aloud to both of them. Here’s our current picture of 6 books being read.

A loves writing letters and tries to sound out words. He even reads small words with ease. I haven’t taught him any of this, he just likes to try and decipher words. N wasn’t doing any of this at his age, but he was  being read to far more. Both boys have very different timelines but I am happy that I am able to spend quality time reading with A finally!

Part 3 coming up!

Thanks for reading. Any of these on your list to buy?