This chapter was a bit out of my realm on familiarity. My husband has very high expectations of our children (even though I am starting to realize mine may still be a bit higher). As they get older, if their grades should drop sports and extracurriculars that they love to do, will be cut back. Saying this our children are still young (3, 5, and 7). The 5 and 7 year old are girls and both advanced readers. My 3 year old boy loves books, but I think that sometimes it is because he loves to do what his sisters are doing. Since reading chapter 5 on SSR we have been trying it at home and even the 3 year old loves to participate. We have yet to have Daddy participate. This is because it is summer and we are reading when he is not home but I wonder if he would be reluctant to participate if he was present.
Daddy reads to the kids when they ask but I am working on getting him to see the value of reading to them everday. He is the one often saying it is the first thing to go if everyone is busy and tired but I am trying to get away from this way of thinking. I am going to get him to read chapter 9, and will ask his thoughts, but I think that the beginning few chapters may be more important to him. He very much already ‘gets’ many of the concerns Trelease mentions in chapter 9 of The Read-Aloud Handbook. He is more than aware of the business changes in the past decade – he is a chartered accountant and news junkie. The only sport that is frequently watched is Hockey Night in Canada, and that has even declined in the past couple of years. The girls both played hockey, my 5 year old still does, and my 3 year old son is starting this year, but it is the the center of the universe. At times we are a bit guilty of the girl’s dance over taking our lives but even on competition weekends we always take a few books with us for down time.
The one thing that he could improve on is letting the kids see him read. He reads the newspaper daily, but only online. I have looked into traditional subscriptions but we live in a rural area and the only thing we can get delivered is our small local paper. He gets the Economist weekly but the kids rarely see him reading it. If we can swing it in our busy lives I think we need to try and get daddy to join us for SSR (quiet reading time). The other thing I would like is for him to sometimes pick books to read aloud to the kids. He always asks them to grab a book but at times it would be nice for him to share his favourite books with them.