“PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot – BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR” – Mark Twain, front matter to Huckleberry Finn

I came across this quote and it affirms some of my thoughts about the Language Arts program and the dissection of books that my children read.  I would align in LA but for this reason “no”.  For the sake of determining “comprehension”  we bit the crap out of books.

As an adult and specifically I ask those of you who love to read – do you analyze and break down all of the components of the books you read or do you enjoy and let them take you away?  If we want to create life long readers – why do we do this in our schools?  I can understand for the sake of writing but why so early when they are only getting into the skill of reading.  Why not let them enjoy?

All beautiful creations and art – including great literature happens naturally through creative minds.  I think we would have better literature by some of those great creative people if we did not label them and turn them off at such an early age.


I highly recommend reading with your children for as long as they will let you.  Even after they can read all on their own.  It is so good, rewarding and connecting – if you are into that! My recent experience of this was with my oldest son who will be 11 this summer.  We immersed ourselves in the Percy Jackson Series and we got hooked in good.

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I am not sure if we covered Greek Mythology when I was in school but I imagine that we did.  I suspect that during that class I was sleeping, daydreaming, writing my own stories, or simply not really present – as in skipping school.  But hey it did not ever seem to matter in my adult life and now at 37 IF we had a check list for that sort of thing I could tick it off and claim to have actually enjoyed it.  Self interest – non-resistant learning.  Paul on the other hand gets to check that off at age 11 though I am not sure which year it is covered in school.

So basically every night for 2 months we climb into bed and read.  I read a minimum of two chapters per night and was often convinced to read a third.  He loved it – I loved it. Paul has a decent grasp on Greek Mythology and we have now read all the series (total 5 Novels).  We  quickly moved on to Rick Riordan’s next books which teach about the Roman Gods without really presenting as anything other than an amazing action packed story. Now we are waiting for October 2012 release of his third book in that series.

So that is a total of 7 books in less than 3 months and a tremendous amount of learning and connecting.  I love following what they love.  I love the questions that come through the process of reading good literature.  One of my favorite things is the vocabulary connection.  I love watching Paul get the word that he does not know through the simple process of following the story.  He gets some big words and I know he gets them because when he doesn’t he will stop me and say “what does that word mean?” and then I tell him quickly and he says “ya, ya, got it”.  What a wonderful way to explore vocabulary and word meaning. I also enjoyed exploring Ricks web site and so then learning about the process of writing novels.  Again really neat natural learning.

When we started reading these books Paul would have been hard pressed to read them by himself and honestly I am glad that we got to share these together.  He now can read them with ease as his reading skills have sky rocketed since the Fall.  ALL on his own! 

What an amazing experience getting sucked into a good literature with my son I bet he still wants to read them with me next Fall.  What an amazing experience watching how learning unfolds.  I do consider myself to be very lucky indeed!

Check out Rick’s website http://www.rickriordan.com/home.aspx.  Also check out the Frequently Asked Questions http://www.rickriordan.com/about-rick/faq.aspx.  These questions really give you a view of the process and challenges in writing a novel.