The Boy has always loved being read to, but getting him to read on his own was a bit of a journey. I think a lot of it has been simply being patient and letting his brain decide when it's ready to catch on to things... he's one of the youngest kids in class as his birthday falls just before the cutoff date, and so in things like reading, spelling, and handwriting, the key has been for his father and me to chill out and work in Boy time instead of school time. Hell, they expect such a ridiculous level and amount of stuff from elementary kids these days anyway. When did kids start learning subtraction and addition in kindergarten? We just learned to color inside the friggin' lines.
Anyway, over the summer last year, he really got reading. The tests that the school runs show that he's now capable of reading at a 5th-grade level, but up until now, he still hasn't been interested much in reading on his own. Every now and then over the past few months, he'll offer to read a picture book to the Girl, but in general, he gets pretty grumpy when we ask him to read a book of his own, and although he loves chapter books, he always wants us to read them to him.
Right now we're reading the Droon series. We're on something like book 17. Last week was a difficult week for the Boy, and we suspect that a lot of it had to do with decreased sleep related to the increased daylight, Easter holiday, and busy schedule, so we're cracking down on a strict 8:00-8:15 lights out. Last night, then, we had time to read only one chapter. And of course, every chapter ends in a bit of a cliffhanger. "Pleaaaaaase," the Boy pleaded, "just one more chapter!" "Sorry buddy, but it's bedtime." "But MOM, you just don't understand, I am SO excited about this story right now!" And he grabbed the book and started reading it. He got 4 pages in before I convinced him to let me put in a bookmark, that he could read it first thing when he got up in the morning. Which is what he did...and after breakfast, and in the car on the way to school, according to his dad. I cannot fully express how amazingly happy and proud and sentimental and fortunate I feel about this moment.