Man oh man, I love my boys. They’re hilarious, active, loving, active, smart, active, and…..hold on, I’m forgetting something…..oh, yeah, I remember now – ACTIVE.
I’ve always felt that my oldest boy required an unusually high level of activity. Things like the way he would stand on his head while watching TV…and stay like that…clued me in. He also jumps up and down while playing any video game, for as long as he plays it. And he looks for any opportunity/excuse to fall to the ground and roll. One of his soccer coaches commented that there wasn’t an inch of the field that Michael hadn’t fallen on. I never even knew that a love of fake-falling was a thing.
During Michael’s preschool years, I alternated between feeling frustrated and amused by all the head-standing, jumping, and falling. But my emotions started to settle on “frustrated” when it came time for me to teach him to read. It was a Struggle. And not because my precious boy was doing anything wrong. I had a lot to learn, not only about how to teach a child to read, but also about how my boy learns.
I won’t bore you with all the details of our journey (ugh, the Bachelor franchise has ruined that word for me), so I’ll just say that I learned that Michael best learns through short lessons, lots of repetition, and hands-on activities. And that last one – hands-on activities – is key.
You know what’s not typically a hands-on activity? Reading. No matter how compelling the story, Michael has no problem walking away to do something that is decidedly Not Reading, even during the most interesting part of the story. I blame my husband, who will watch 1 hour and 45 minutes of a movie with me, then kiss me good night and fall asleep during the last 15 minutes. Who does that?
But we powered through. Michael eventually realized that this reading thing wasn’t going away, and he’s become a really good reader. We even found some books that he loves along the way. In the (very professional – not) video below, I share some of his faves. You won’t see anything like The Velveteen Rabbit in there (even my book-loving preschooler begged me to stop reading that one), but I’ll take what I can get.
Usborne Lift-the-Flap Picture Atlas
Usborne Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding
Usborne Look Inside How Computers Work
Pyramids (A First Discovery Book)
Explore Within an Egyptian Mummy
Maze Craze Mummy Mazes
The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories
Minecraft: Redstone Handbook
The Big Book of Building: Everything Minecraft
Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers