I know, I know… all parents love their kids and think they are perfect, right? I have no such misconceptions. I know neither of my girls are perfect, but they are fantastic people who also share a number of my loves: reading and writing.
My older daughter is about to turn 10 and is currently an over-achiever in school. She wants to get straight A’s, to win the little in-class games they play, and to get more AR (accelerated reader) points than anyone in her grade. And that brings me to one of my loves…reading. She has a voracious appetite for books. She reads way above grade level and goes through multiple books every week. The Harry Potter books took her a little longer…maybe one a week. I used to be concerned that she was just reading the books to be done with them, but to earn points in the AR program, you have to take tests that measure your comprehension and retention of the material in the books. She averages over ninety percent on the tests. Amazing. She manages to get all this reading done even though she still goes out and plays with her sister, takes dance, plays soccer, and plays on the computer and Wii. My wife and I won’t let her just sit around all day and read even when she wants to.
My younger daughter also reads above grade level and averages above ninety percent on her AR tests, but reading isn’t quite her passion. She likes reading, but is just as happy doing other things, and while she does well in school, she’s not as happy about doing homework and studying. She does like to write, though. She has written a couple stories in her own homemade booklet, and while they aren’t likely to be award-winners, they are funny, and with a little help and some artwork, they could probably sell to kids her own age or a little younger. I really need to get more serious about my writing before my daughter ends up published before me.
Now, if I could just get them both to be more serious about getting better at soccer, they’d be perfect. Ok, not really…they already are. And while I don’t want to see them grow up so fast and move on, I am excited to see what they can do with the next ten years of their lives. So far, I’m in awe!