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The Freedom to Read Whatever

Nothing is more annoying than telling me what I can and can’t do. We have free will as humans. Someone limiting my freedom grinds my gears.

And what is not going to happen is limiting my children’s free will either.

I remember in the 3rd grade, I bought Matilda by Roald Dahl at the book fair. It was an intimidating, thick book, but the bright yellow cover and the illustration of a little girl on top of a pile of books captivated my attention. I had to buy it and read it. Matilda became my favorite book and Roald Dahl my favorite author.

A few years ago, my mom was cleaning out my old room and found my copy of Matilda with the cover barely hanging on and my name written on the inside cover in my 3rd grade handwriting (which is pretty much the same as my penmanship today). I told her not to throw it away because I was going to introduce Chandler and Aubrey to Matilda.

One weekend, when I was talking to the little girls, they told me that they watched the 1996 film adaptation at their sitter’s house. They loved the movie! I was so excited! I told the girls that it was a book before it was a movie and that we could read the book together. I got the book from my mom and I gave it to them and told them that we would read the book together (my nerdy book dreams were coming true!).

That weekend, the girls and I went somewhere, and Chandler was carrying the book with her. An adult approach her and told her that the book was too old and too hard for her to read. I shrugged off the comment. Did not feel like getting into a battle with this old ass former teacher. Anyway, when we got home and it was time to read a story before bed, Chandler told me, “We can’t read Matilda, because it’s too hard for me.”

I was so pissed. I told her it wasn’t too hard for her. Explained that there will be some words and things she won’t know or understand, but I would help her understand them. That night, I read the first chapter. Then we just started reading one chapter each time they wanted to read it. So far it has been good. They don’t get bored. They haven’t come to anything they can’t understand. And they make connections in the story with the movie.

I say all that to say: Let’s not limit our kids. Let’s not allow anyone tell them what they can and can’t read. Let’s allow them to have access to all the reading they can get their hands on.

That incident sparked me to share with you four little tips on how to enjoy reading with your children:

1. Read everywhere and everything

2. Read above age level

3. Read below age level

4. Read older books and new releases

Click here to download the Blossoming Reader info graphic and hang it on the fridge as a reminder that reading is supposed to be enjoyable and does not have limitations.

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