Harry Potter and the Reading of Books

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Just finished reading aloud chapter 6 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to my 9-year old son. My older, 11-year old son and my husband did this a couple of years ago, when the younger one was too young and too scared. They got halfway through the last book and got derailed… and now they are waiting for us to catch up.  But I digress…

Each night, after we finish a chapter, as I’m nursing my dry mouth and tired eyes, my son expresses his impatience with how slow reading aloud is. He never refrains from trying to convince me to read another chapter.  I decline and encourage him to take up the reading on his own. He counters with, but he doesn’t want to leave me behind. I assure him of my speed reading prowess and that I can easily catch up when he’s in bed. Same conversation. For the PAST FIVE CHAPTERS (not to mention past 25 books). I even tell him that as soon as he finishes reading the book, we can watch the movie together. Nope, he wants us to do this together. As always. Our No Matter What agreement. Every night.

However… I think things are getting progressively too exciting. Harry has arrived at Hogwarts! School is about to start! We’ve met Ron, Hermione, Neville, Draco… And while he loves my animated, not to mention, creatively accented (it sort of meanders between Yorkshire and Scottish, well… and Irish, there’s Australian, and Liverpoolian accents, with a slight hint of Jon Snow) aural narration, he is eager to advance the story. Like now. Seriously.  Now.  So finally, finally, half begrudgingly, he is reading, on his own, a real book. Not a graphic novel, not an Archie comic, not an Owl magazine… a real chapter book.

— Update —

He returned the book after reading the next chapter to let me know where I can start reading tomorrow night.  We start on chapter 8 next.  He admitted that reading a real book was challenging and that he skipped a few paragraphs that were ‘not important’.  He expressed that this was the first time he wasn’t reading a comic or graphic novel where the bubbles limit the words to only a few sentences at a time.  He shared his insecurity that he knew he was ‘behind’ in reading (which I disagreed with, but he brushed me aside). He shared that he found it challenging when he came across a word he didn’t know and we started chatting about strategies to deal with that.  He gave me a knowing look as he firmly said “I know I have to do this to improve my reading.”

Harry Potter has provided him the motivation to push his reading skills to the next level. Thanks JK Rowling! He loves this story way too much, he’s overcome his love of waiting for me to read to him and his fear of reading chapter books on his own.

How proud am I of my slightly dyslectic and very stubborn kid?

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