Why not Try Your Local Library for a Holiday Adventure
This week’s blog was going to be a companion for the Hi-Lo readers, the topic being a guide to finding books for advanced readers. However, while there was relatively little information on helping reading who are struggling, there was a dearth of information on what have your advanced readers looking at. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what your child should be reading if they are an above average reader, and the range is so varied I could not really detect any commonality. In fact, as a parent of an advanced reader, I found the information more confusing than enlightening. In fact it became annoying after a while because there was no doubt that although the recommended books were interesting, I could not see my son reading any of them. In fact my son constantly surprises me when choosing books, so much so that I find it hard to buy books for him.
So I took a step back and thought about what I did when he first showed an interest in devouring books. I did something very old fashioned, I took him to a library. I told him all the books in the library could be taken for nothing (provided we returned them on time) and that he could choose what he wanted to read at whatever level on pretty much whatever topic. He now loves the library as he can choose books that he reads in five minutes that I would never consider buying him, and he can choose books he is not quite sure about because I am not going to get annoyed because he only reads one chapter and puts it down. He also chooses non-fiction books on the his interests of the moment and the graphic novels he loves to read. In fact there are whole new worlds in there he can lose himself in, and he very often does. In fact I often have to drag him out of there.
I then thought about this a little more and realised that one of the highlights of our holidays is going to the bigger library a couple of suburbs down. My son spends time in the kids section and I top up my books in the adult sections (well also sometimes the teenage section also). It has become a bit of a holiday treat for us and sometimes, if we read fast or chose books we did not really like, then we go back again. This started me thinking that for a low cost holiday activity the library can be fun for readers and non-readers alike. For readers it can be a special treat, and for non-readers a chance to maybe find that elusive book that sparks their interest in reading. There are also DVDs and music in libraries now which can act as a draw for this reluctant readers, and a great range of graphic novels that are good fast holiday reads. In the non-fiction section there are books on drawing and cars and ancient treasures to tempt those who have interests other than reading. So there should be something that meets everyone’s interests.
The grey matter then went to work and I thought why not turn the library adventure into a bit of fun? There are great library activities that can get kids looking into different areas of the library, and as a completion reward maybe a picnic in the park after to let off some energy, or to relax and read some of the books they have. Armed with this idea I jumped on my trusty internet and there are a lot of great references for scavenger hunts in libraries for all levels, and I also found these two sites that might help with some different ideas: EHOW has a page of games to play in the library, as well as some other ideas for book related activities for children, but my favourite was librarygames.com as it has some simple one line activities that you can get your children involved in. Or, really, you could just let your children browse and find the books they might love for a lifetime.
So this holidays when your children are bored and want something to do, why not take them on a fun outing to the library? It may just be one of the best adventures they have.
I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure.