I fully and completely encourage my kids to read. Spending money on books is the one thing to which I never say no. Words are an integral part of my life, to the point that I have a notebook where I jot down interesting words I've read or heard because, you know, I'm a geek. My memories of getting lost in a book, so entranced by the story I forgot about real life going on around me, are numerous.
It's the reason I'm completely lax with my kids and any rules when it comes to reading. My kids know this and play me like a well-tuned violin.
Son No. 1 likes to read in bed before he goes to sleep, the apple not falling far from the tree. During the school year I cap his reading time at 10:00 pm at which point I go into his room to turn off his light and pry the book from his hands as he begs to "Just let me finish this chapter mom. PLEASE". Inevitably, I do.
Since he’s reading books three to four years above his age level, our rule is whenever he doesn’t know the meaning of a word, he can come out and ask me no matter what the time.
One night, an hour after he had gone into his room, he came sauntering out.
Mummy? I don’t know what this word means and pointed to a paragraph. Immediately, I saw two words he may have a problem with.
Then I started to read.
It became abundantly clear, my two choices were not the ones that had him baffled.
I spent this morning clearing out any test tubes we had in the house.
Also, I will never rent Free Willy because that would be a huge disappointment, wouldn't it.