Wednesday, May 27, 2015

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much

When I browse through the parenting section at the library, I see titles like Encouraging the Reluctant Reader and Raising Kids Who Love Books. 

What I don't see is the one called How to Get Your Kid's Nose Out of a Book and Breathe Some Fresh Air or Something. If I did, I would totally check that one out of the library.

In our house, we're blessed with 5 fantastic kids who love reading. So much that they can hardly ever complete a task without getting distracted and being sucked into a book. For them, reading books is like breathing air: it's an automatic process, and if they stop they'll probably die.

Sure there are worse problems, but living in a house full of kids who love books too much comes with its own interesting set of problems. If you live with our kids, this is what your life is like:

1. Your kids have sustained repeated reading-related injuries. This is why we have a "no reading while going down the stairs" rule. Also why our kids walk into walls regularly.

Left to their own devices, they'll read at the dinner table, while brushing their teeth, or secretly under the desk at school when they're supposed to be listening to the teacher.

2. Nothing is safe from being read. Assembly instructions, boy scouting manuals, junk mail... if you leave it lying around, they will read it.

Then you'll feel like a bad mom when your 10-year-old devours Divergent in a single sitting because you left it out on the coffee table and she thought it looked interesting. Oops.

3. You devise elaborate systems to limit their reading. During the summers, the kids earn points they can trade in for reading time, like some parents do for screen time. Maybe they need this because we don't have a TV, but I don't really know for sure.

What I do know is that without limits, the kids would read until their vision blurs and they pass out from starvation.

4. Your kids mispronounce everything. My voracious readers have huge vocabularies and are excellent spellers, but they've never heard anyone say 70% of the words they read in books.

My daughter recently came to me asking, "Mom, what's a 'deh-butt' novel?" It took me a while to figure out that she wanted to know what the word 'debut' meant. Now I just ask them to spell it for me if they show up talking nonsense.

5. They also say things that are never said out loud, only written. When they're exasperated, my older kids actually say "Hmph!" Surprise them and they'll yell "Ack!" Frustrate them and they'll roll their eyes and moan, "Ugh."

I don't mean that they make the sounds those words roughly approximate. They pronounce them with perfect precision. It's like living in a Peanuts cartoon.

6. You boycott the library's summer reading program. We tried to do it one year. The kids were constantly losing their paper or forgetting to bring it with them. I was a basketcase trying to time their reading (which is like trying to track exactly how long a bird spends in flight.)

Now the librarian doesn't even ask if we want to sign up, because she knows I will say "Nope!" with a smile and continue checking out 50+ books with my kids every week. They love to read, but logging their minutes is the worst. Which leads to another point...

7. You passionately hate school reading logs. I guess every parent everywhere hates signing reading logs. But I really hate it. Every day the kids try to pull one over one me: "But I have to sit here and read for 20 minutes! It's part of my homework!"

My answer to that is always the same: "You've read for hours today before school, both ways on the bus, at free time during class, and after you got home. You've done your reading log, today and every day. Stop worrying about it, I will sign whatever you give me."

8. Your kids speak in British English, even though they've never so much as visited the U.K. Our kids' obsession with Harry Potter deserves an entire post (or maybe an entire blog) of its own, but that's a story for another time.

I think it's enough to say that when I ask how much homework they have, they'll either reply "a bit" or "loads," and when I ask if they're done they'll answer, "Nearly!" Am I the only one who needs Google translator to tell me what the heck my kids are talking about?

9. Books are littered all over the house  along with strange bookmarks. Despite your efforts to keep them corralled on the bookshelf, books are everywhere. Every night you'll feel like the circulation manager at the library shelving the teetering stacks of books you've collected from all the rooms of your house.

And even though you keep a big tray of actual bookmarks right by the bookshelf, the kids will just use whatever random nearby object they can grab to mark their place in their book, such as:

Socks:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Do your kids sustain reading-related injuries? Do you find bizarre things being used as bookmarks all over the house? If so, you may be able to identify with these other signs of having a kid who reads too much for their own good.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Hammers:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Think there aren't problems when kids love books too much? Think again.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Water bottles:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Think there aren't problems when kids love books too much? Think again.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Seat belts:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Think there aren't problems when kids love books too much? Think again.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Forks:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Think there aren't problems when kids love books too much? Think again.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Or, because my daughter is into art, the butts of posable figure-drawing dummies:

9 Telltale Signs Your Kids Read Too Much -- Do your kids sustain reading-related injuries? Do you find bizarre things being used as bookmarks all over the house? If so, you may be able to identify with these other signs of having a kid who reads too much for their own good.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Does this sound like your house? Can you relate? Make sure to check out 9 More Signs Your Kids Read Way Too Much for more!

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Unremarkable Files

18 comments:

  1. All the book marks are my favorite. And that they actually say things like "ack". Also, I love Harry Potter and I'm really glad to see younger kids are still loving it. I feel like a lot of the younger kids hate Harry Potter. And, it's mostly because their parents liked it, I'm sure, so they won't even give it a good try.

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  2. This is my life!!! With each point I exclaimed yes! Yes! Yes! Too funny. Another funny thing is that many times we have to say no books in the bathroom this time.... Otherwise they could literally be on the commode for hours!! It's a nice quiet break for me but it gets a little ridiculous. It's a blessing to have avid readers, but I'm chuckling to myself right now because your I can so relate all this! Sometimes we'll be out and about and after coming home for a while I'll say where is (name)? Oh he's still in the car reading. And he doesn't even realize it's been like an hour.

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    1. We have both of those exact problems. That is hilarious!

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  3. This is my nephew all the way. The funniest was when we went to Cafe Rio. He sat in the middle of a long line on the floor with a book in his lap reading. When it was his turn to order we had to grab the book haha. He loses his hearing when he reads so calling his name is futile. ;-)

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  4. #5 hilarity! I laughed through this whole post!

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  5. I was a veracious reader growing up and always had a book in my hands and face inside reading. I never thought of such 'cool' bookmarks though! Great post. Thanks for linking up at the Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop. Featured you on my fb page too! Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

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  6. This was me as a kid.... wait! It still describes me! I used to read in bed at night using the light from the streetlight out in front of the neighbor's house, my mother still mentions it from time to time- I'm a grandma now!

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    1. That sounds like something my kids would do! They have reading lights for car trips but are always losing them (that's another story for another blog post) so they will painstakingly read their books holding them up over their heads using the headlights of the car behind us!

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  7. A few years ago, this was my life exactly. Here is what it has now morphed into- A teen boy sitting on the toilet for eternity while everyone else needs a shower because he started reading there and JUST CAN"T MOVE. A teen girl who is really busy being perfect at school and playing softball so her only reading time is at 11 at night when she should be sleeping. A tween girl wanting to fill me in on the horrid death of every saint in the history of the Catholic church. A boy who apparently was given to the wrong family because he HATES reading, so careful what you wish for because I promise this is soooo much worse.

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  8. My 8 yo is the same way and my 6yo is heading there! Any recommendations on good books for an 8yo girl? She's read almost every book in our library!

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    1. So have mine! Maybe they could start a bookclub together and talk about all the books in the world...

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  9. I just used a fork for a bookmark today! No lie!
    I was blessed with 1 voracious reader. She can spell any word in the world, and define it, just can't pronounce it! (Why can't something be done about that??) She still holds the record for most AR points at her elementary school. And she's 29 now!!
    Then my second daughter, HATED to read!! My oldest and I looked at her like she had 2 heads. She's definitely an alien species.

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  10. My kids aren't old enough for any of these things yet, but I recognise a lot of them from growing up! My siblings and I have some pretty specialised vocabulary in German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch from reading the sides of cereal packets during breakfast...

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    1. Education comes in the most unexpected of places, I guess.

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  11. Hi Jenny, it's funny that your children speak 'English' having never been to England. We live in Greece and although my daughter can read Greek and English books, she much prefers the English versions as she says things get lost in translation. She too sometimes gets the pronunciation of English words wrong as she's not heard the words used for real (her schooling is all in Greek), she's big and ugly enough to laugh with us when it happens.

    I've just negotiated a few chores as there are a couple of books she wants from Amazon. I'm shameless I know, but seeings as there is no library here it costs us a fortune in books!

    xx

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    1. No library! My kids would roll over and die.

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  12. not knowing how to pronounce words HAHAH that's me!!! Still...to this day.......and I'm 24 haha whoops! Also OMG that picture of the book "the doll people" just brought me BACK! I just looked it up and feel the need to read it now. I used to love those books so much haha

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