Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blog #2 - The Little Gifted Reader

Well, I never dreamed I'd start blog #1, but I've been thinking about this one (blog #2) for quite awhile.

Age 2, Reading on her potty.
As strange as it may sound, one of my biggest "Mama Challenges" has been finding books for my daughter to read.  Not because she doesn't enjoy reading - on the contrary - but, because she's always been a highly advanced reader.  

Reading one of her favorites "Who Moved My Cheese" to
the schools gecko we kept over a holiday break.
From the day she came home, I've read to her.  I not only love reading for my own enjoyment, but I still LOVE finding a good children's book.  Those amazing picture books which convey life in all it's variations succinctly and with some of the most beautiful artwork created today. 

All seemed normal in our household until, at age two, my daughter began "correcting" me when I read to her.  Now, as is typical with two-year-olds, you often find yourself reading the same book night after night and, often, many times a night.  So, I just thought, "How cute!  She's memorized the story!"  Which would have been 'advanced' in itself, except I quickly discovered that even while reading new stories we had never heard before she was correcting me.  

Reading "The Tao of Pooh" one afternoon
after a swim in Nana & Poppy's pool.
So, I ran an experiment.  I started pointing to words (simple words often repeated in children's stories like 'cat') and asking her, "What's that say?".  It got to the point where I was trying to find words she COULDN'T read!  

I quickly ran out to the closest book store and found some of those "phonics readers" & even invested in a "Hooked on Phonics" package, because where a word stumped her she WANTED to know what it said.  

She was never a big American Girl fan,
but this collection of Samantha stories
she LOVED.
However, after the first "Hooked on Phonics" book and the first set of Bob Books she was done with those 'baby' books and off reading on her own.  By the summer she was three she had completed the entire Magic Tree House series (of which there were approximately 30 books at the time) and the resource guides that go along with certain stories and had moved on to Junie B. Jones.  

Now, it sound like such a wonderful "problem" to have, but what I started finding was that as quickly as she was reading I couldn't keep up with finding books AT her reading level that were age appropriate.  By five, she was reading at a seventh grade level and, I don't know about you, but I couldn't find many seventh grade books appropriate for my 5-year-old.

Reading a "Secrets of Droon" book to Samantha Jayne.
I started talking to other Mama's to see what their kids were reading.  Many of those in the same situation we were in were struggling and hadn't even found some of the ones I had discovered that had become Janan's favorites (like the Jewel Kingdom series by Jahnna N. Malcolm, the Avalon: Web of Magic series by Rachel Roberts, the Carole Marsh Mysteries, and The Keepers trilogy Jackie French Koller).  Interestingly enough, all of these I discovered at our local used book store and were no longer carried in the 'big box' stores like Barnes & Noble or Border's.  

"Found" by Margaret Peterson Haddix
So, somehow I became the 'go to' Mama for those with Little Gifted Readers of their own and continued the search for my own LGR.  I've discovered many gems along the way. Books that (because I pre-read many I find) are enjoyable even at my age!  

And, though the concept for this blog has been rolling around in my head for years, it took yet another Mama from Janan's new school asking me yesterday, "What does Janan read?" that made me finally sit down and start to type.

Just as I rely on the Movie Mom to help me make sure I'm selecting the best movies for Janan to see, I'm hoping this blog will help other LGR Mamas make appropriate reading choices for their children.  (And, I won't have to keep remembering all the titles and authors!)

Reading (as always) while eating one of
"The Jewel Kingdom" books.
Selfishly, I'm also hoping other Mamas will post here when they find great books for our kids to read!  Thankfully, since the Harry Potter series (Janan's ALL time favorite) more and more wonderful authors have been coming out with the stories that will be classics when Janan has her own children.  I hope I'm there to see that, because I've got shelves of many great children's books saved up for just such an occasion!  

Reading Mama's "Mothering Magazine"
while waiting at the bank.

So, I'll go back a bit and begin posting my 'reviews' of the books we've discovered over the years.  The ones we liked as well as those we didn't.  And, if we're all lucky, we'll get feedback from my very own LGR because, trust me, she really knows best!

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful idea! I hope you get a lot of interest. Nana