P's school has started a program where kids get a prize if they read 20 minutes a day. P usually reads like he breathes, which is constantly, so I was really surprised when I had to remind him to do his daily 20 minute readings. Last night I asked him why he wasn't reading as much, and he sighed heavily and said, "I haven't been happy with my reading lately. I've read all of my books and I'm tired of them."
Usually book fairs, book order forms, and trips to the library ensure that we have a steady stream of fresh reading material in our house. It didn't even occur to me that might be a problem...but in thinking on it, we hadn't gotten a book order form until just recently, and things have been too hectic for library visits lately. Sure enough, he was out of books.
I offered to let him read a book online, and I signed into a website that allows teachers to print out leveled reading books. I found an entire section of science books and we sat reading about deep-sea creatures, how different animals have different eyes, and how diamonds are formed. P curled his long, lanky seven-year-old self into my lap and stopped me after every passage to comment or connect it to something he had seen or read elsewhere. Every once in a while he stopped me to say, "That's amazing," or "That's fascinating. Isn't that fascinating?"
What really struck me was that he seemed to unwind and relax before my eyes. It was like he'd had an itch all week and was finally able to scratch it. He loves learning, the voracious consumption of facts. I underestimate that sometimes.
Soon his book order will come. He'll get a book about minerals and another one about how to grow sugar crystals. He'll be so happy.