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Monday, November 2, 2009

Learning to Listen

When the girls first got here a few weeks ago, they weren't particularly interested in listening to books. When offered, they politely declined. They did, however, beg for the same story to be read to them again when it was bedtime. I suspect, however, that their motivation had more to do with the alternative than to the enjoyment of a story.

I have often read comments from parents who say that their children simply don't like to listen to stories. Several families have shared that Sonlight simply didn't work for them because their kids didn't want to listen to the books. In fact, that sometimes lasted for a year or more.

But eventually their children came around. Listening to fantastic stories is now a family favorite pass time. It may take a while, but eventually the joy of engaging in a tale together begins to take root.

It has with the girls at our house.

Listening to stories, I believe, is a skill that needs to be learned. And there's really no better way to learn how to listen than with Sonlight's curriculum. The girl's are still developing this skill. It took a week or more before they were okay with a new book. And they're still easily distracted. But the change has begun.

Has your family discovered the wonderful shared experiences that reading books together can bring?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


Kim & Dave said...

I sooo agree with this, Luke. It is a learned behavior-for just about all kids. We are working on our "littles" right now!

Tammy said...

Yay! It's great to hear about progress with your girls, Luke!

Tammy ~@~

Sue said...

So glad to hear that they are catching on!

My kids have always loved books in some form. My oldest loved just looking and looking at picture books at a very young age, and eventually loved having them read to her. As many as possible! But, the transition from picture books to chapter books was hard for her. She is very visual, so when I pulled out our first chapter book when she was 4 1/2 or 5 she whined and whined about the lack of pictures. She didn't want anything to do with it.

I was kind of distressed, because I just knew that Sonlight was the best fit for our book loving family. But, I just went back to picture books for a while, selecting longer ones, and ones with fewer pictures.

Later that year, we transitioned into chapter books without any further trouble. I still remember, with great fondness, finally reading that Paddington book to her and her younger brother a year or two later. We laughed and laughed together, and I read most of the book in one sitting! It may take some kids longer than others, but I'm convinced that eventually any child can learn to love being read to!

Luke Holzmann said...

Kim and Tammy, thanks for the encouragement <smile>.

Sue, thanks for sharing your experience! Glad that you were able to stick with it <smile>.


The Reader said...

We have learned and are learning. You are so right it is a process. What I love best are the times I sit down to read aloud, and everyone is resisting, not wanting to listen. I plow ahead, and before I know it, I've got three little interested parties trying to act uninterested while still trying to hear the story. It's great! Sonlight books are so good for this!!

On a side note: My oldest has noticed the awards on the books, and picked up a book recently and said, "Gee, this one is only a Newberry Nominee, not a winner...." He read it anyway, but it cracked me up. He's the same boy who would not sit still for a book and would not read on his own for ages; it took a while, but reading is in his blood now!

Luke Holzmann said...

I absolutely love that, Heather! <laughing>


Grateful for Grace said...

What did I miss?? Are these girls your children that we've (I use the word 'we' loosely, but in spirit) been waiting for? Because I don't remember it being two girls. Oh, I'm confused and happy at the same time.
Could you fill me in?

Luke Holzmann said...

We're watching these girls for "a couple months or so..." but these are not the three children that we're still waiting on (and, yes, I'm fully aware that there are many bloggy friends who are waiting with us <smile>).

We are helping out a family in need for a while. Not sure for how long or even really what-all is going on. But this has certainly been an interesting crash-course... and probably a good thing prior to the "real" crash course" to come...

Your prayers are very much appreciated!


Julie said...

i'm tickled at HEather. One of my boys is also very astute about the awards. He'll see one with the shield or whatever and say, oh it must be good, it's got the seal!! LOL!

Luke Holzmann said...

<smile> Sonlight sure does have a lot of books with awards!


Unknown said...

That's great! And, yes, listening to books being read is a skill to be learned... and one I never learned lol

Luke Holzmann said...



Grateful for Grace said...

AH! Ok, thanks for the update, Luke. How wonderful of you and your wife to help out! Very Christlike, actually. Plus, He *is* giving you a crash course, a fine, fine bonus.

Still praying for 'your' children to get home.

Happy learning and loving!

Luke Holzmann said...

Thanks so much! And, yes: It is absolutely a crash course <smile>.



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