Kids Caught in the Act … of READING

Raising Kids Who Love to Read

I hope everyone in the U.S. had a nice Thanksgiving weekend.  We spent a long weekend in Montreal and while I packed many books for myself and the children, they were barely touched with the distractions of two TVs in the room, plus a considerable amount of electronics from DSi, iPhone, iPods (two), iDog (I have no idea why my middle daughter packed that), to the portable DVD player.

My kids would protest that I made them pack their flutes and music AND practice as well as do Daily Word Problems — I packed that for them– so they had no time to read.  But what really killed the reading was the Cake Boss marathon.  I have to say that we all love that show.  It’s the perfect family entertainment TV show with something for everyone:

  • My husband likes Jersey Shore for pure entertainment value and this is the family version.
  • My kids love the immature antics and the crazy creativity of the huge cakes.
  • I’m impressed with Buddy.  Here’s a guy who took over the family bakery at age 17 after his father died.  He’s also good leader with a warm heart and a sincere appreciation for what is happening to him.  He’s a reality star that actually works hard and deserves this kind of media attention.

So when @IanChia on Twitter sent this article to me,  Children distracted from reading by TV and computers, I fully agreed with it.  Yes, that is exactly what happened to us on our trip.  I would have had more pictures of kids caught in the act of reading since my husband and I had our camera and iPhone at the ready, but … they just didn’t read much so there was not much to catch.  These kids  below did do some reading though!  Kudos to their parents for pulling that off!  I wish I could say the same!

Here are the key points from the article:

  • Research carried out by Booktrust into children’s reading habits has found that 96% of the children surveyed said that they enjoyed reading, peaking at 99% among seven year olds and falling to 89% of 12 year olds. This is a 5% increase on a similar study completed last September 2008.
  • But children admitted they were distracted from reading by sedentary habits including watching TV (54%) and playing on the computer or video games (41%). In fact, 56% of all parents and carers, and almost half of all parents of four to five year olds (48%), said their child spent more time facing a screen, playing computer games and watching DVDs than reading.
  • Most children, 74%, said they were the key decision maker when it comes to choosing which books to read, while 15% said their mum decided what they read, 5% said teachers and only 3% their dads.
  • The research also indicated a clear gender split. Parents and carers of boys were twice as likely not to read with them compared to those who have girls, and households with girls have ten more children’s books than those with boys. One in every 20 family homes in Britain today has fewer than ten books. One in every 12 children said that they rarely or never saw their parents or carers reading for pleasure.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed pictures to this weekly Monday feature! I hope that you will consider sending me a picture for next week. Please email me at (at)


Kevin reading funnies on his own,

This is Kevin reading the funnies on his own.

Thank you to my dear friend Kathleen for sending pictures every week.  Kevin is such a great reader!  Earlier pictures show him reading signs on a hiking trail and reading about the Titanic.


caught in the act of reading,,

My little guys were taking a shopping break at Target.  I love when they read to each other so, to capture the moment, I had to snap this photo.  Thank you again for this wonderfully inspiring post theme! Jill @

Thank you to Jill from for sending in this picture after my desperate pleas over Twitter.  MomsGoneGlobal is a great blog from Jill and Kim, two American moms on two different continents (US and Brittany, France), blogging about raising kids who are culturally aware.  How great is that?!!  They have books, crafts, exploration ideas, and recipes.  Check it out!


a boy a book and his dog, caught in the act of reading, pragmaticmom,, pragmatic mom

Hard to find a picture where the three are not together… Alex, Sgian Dhu, and one of many fantasy books.

ps- Sgian Dhu will soon be sharing a litter of puppies with us- the daily read aloud should produce very literature-intelligent Scotties

I made a new friend at KidLitCon 2010, a teacher blogger with a great blog called SpotToRead.  What is truly amazing about Karla is that she is one of 3 — yes, 3!! — teachers for a rural middle school in Iowa of about a hundred students.  She teaches a multitude of subjects and manages to make everything exciting which includes technology (her blog, skyping authors into her classroom, creating Wiki pages).  She’s truly an amazing teacher!


Tsongas, Read Out and Read, caught in the act of reading,

This is Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas reading to kids at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Chelmsford, MA.   Read Out and Read is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud at regular pediatric checkups. The model includes providing a carefully-selected, new, age-appropriate book for each child to take home from every checkup from 6 months through 5 years.

Reach Out and Read has joined 12 other national education nonprofit programs to fight an amendment that would decimate an entire segment of America’s nonprofit sector and place millions of children and families in jeopardy.

On Monday November 29, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on Amendment 4697, proposed by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)  as a rider to the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act” (S. 510). If passed, the amendment would ban all congressionally directed spending (earmarks) for the next three years.  While the savings would be trivial ($16 billion – or one-half of one percent of the $3.5 trillion federal budget), the ban would eliminate funding for 13 well-established, effective national programs. In addition to Reach Out and Read, the list of affected programs includes Teach for AmericaReading is Fundamentalthe Close Up Foundationthe National Writing Project, and VSA.

“The passage of this amendment would be catastrophic for Reach Out and Read and 12 other high quality, evidence-based programs that benefit millions of children and families in our country,” said Reach Out and Read CEO Earl Martin Phalen. “It’s unfathomable that Senators would put politics before helping American families struggling to stay afloat.”

This year, Reach Out and Read was awarded $6 million in federal funding. With that funding, Reach Out and Read leveraged an additional $21 million in non-federal funding, enabling the organization to serve 4 million children and families through more than 4,600 pediatric practices, hospitals, and health clinics nationwide.

Along with the free book for every child, doctors and nurses also provide guidance to parents about the importance of reading aloud with their children every day.  More than 27,000 medical providers nationwide currently participate in Reach Out and Read.  This simple intervention results in children entering kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills and a six-month developmental edge, significantly reducing their risks for poverty, illiteracy, and dependency in the future.

Grassley, Read Out and Read, Caught in the Act of Reading,, Pragmatic momCao, Read Out and Read, Caught in the Act of reading,

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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