Monday, November 21, 2016

Masterpiece -- Reading with Kids

The third graders were assigned a Cereal Box Mystery Project.  Mine was excited about the project but disappointed because he ended up with a Hardy Boys book when he made his selection in class.  We spent two weeks going in circles.  He would never want to read his book.  I would tell him to ask his teacher if he could change his book.  He would tell me he wasn't going to ask because he knew he couldn't.  He would tell me that the Hardy Boys book was boring.  I would tell him that I knew that.  Finally, when he was only on page 38, despite lots of in-class reading time, I emailed his teacher and asked if he could change books.  She gave me some parameters, and I did some research and offered three choices for her approval. 

The end result of this negotiation was Masterpiece by Elise Broach.  My son had to push himself to catch up and finish but ended up loving the book.  And I quote:  "Now I know that a lot of the harder chapter books are worth it."  I read Masterpiece as well, sometimes aloud to him as we were in a crunch time situation, and thought it was a great mystery about friendship and family dynamics that also gives kids insights into the art world.

My older son read and loved Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach just last year.  Wondering if I can convince my third grader to read that one just for fun.  Maybe a family read-aloud?  Masterpiece would be a good read-aloud.

Should I have stayed out of it and made him suffer through a Hardy Boys book that he wasn't enjoying?  I don't regret intervening because the end result was a very positive reading experience and plenty of momentum for the cereal box project that accompanied it.  Should I have made him talk to his teacher about switching books instead of doing it for him?  Yes.  Next time.

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