You know I am a huge proponent of reading to kids above their grade levels. I think it helps with vocabulary development as well as listening comprehension skills. It has always been my all-time favorite part of the day. We turn out one set of lights, I turn on my flameless candle, the kids sit in a circle and tend to lie down. I read and they listen. They get to know the characters and it actually feels a little sad when the book ends.
For whatever reason, my kiddos this year loathe listening to chapter books. We have just a 15-minute window between lunch and getting ready for their ancillary classes-perfect activity for that time-frame. We started with the Wizard of Oz-took us literally 3 months to get through it. I tried to read them the Best Christmas Pageant Ever in preparation for the holidays-they squirmed, interrupted, played, talked through the first few chapters-so I set that one aside-I always tell kids people have different tastes in books.
After we got back from the break I thought-I will read them a book I know they will love-The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I love this book for a number of reasons-it's very deep and you can do a lot with that. It's a story of how a character can change, how anyone can love others instead of just themselves. It's about a lot of things. He meets many people on his journey and they all love him for a different reason-great perspective comparison! They listened a little bit better to this one (I think I'm wearing them down :), but as I read the last page (almost tearing up because it's such a great ending) they were very ho-hum, then they realized it was over and cheered *sigh*. I started talking to them about how exciting it was for me-that weekend I was going to visit the bookstore and choose another title for them and they groaned...."why do we have to read another one, it's boring!". I will not, however, give up. I think it's so important and personally treasure the memory of my mom reading to us when we were little-I just don't think a lot of parents have time to do that these days.
Anyway, we wrote about the big idea of Edward Tulane. This is a challenge for kids because they don't usually see big ideas-they remember the details from the last chapter. So I was really happy with the way they really seemed to get the theme of the story.