Reading with Expression

Last weekend, we visited the son and his family, and I started to read a story to the 7-year-old, who stopped me and said, “Grandma, don’t read with expression.  You’re not supposed to read with expression.”

What?!!!

The daughter-in-law says this philosophy comes from his school, and I am a little concerned.  The child reads, but he is quick to inform me that he’s not too thrilled with anything that isn’t a graphic novel or at least has a lot of pictures.

The son has a plan for dealing with this, but the hubby and I have been brainstorming because we pick the 7-year-old up tomorrow to spend a week with us.  The boy knows that his grandpa and I read aloud when we travel, so I rescued a copy of Davy Crockett from my dad’s basement and I have a copy of The Marvelous Land of Oz, too.  The grandpa and I were thinking we might read from these while we’re traveling as well.  This child listened to us read Atlas Shrugged last summer, and he asked questions, too.  I know he’ll at least listen if we read.

The boy has had a hard time in first and second grade, and I think there are some obstacles to be overcome.  I have a bag ready for him in the van with colored pencils, mechanical pencils, and a journal, so that he can record what he sees (a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  I made him maps of everywhere we are going, too.

Maybe the 7-year-old was just having a bad day when he asked me not to read with expression, but kids used to be graded on whether they read with expression, didn’t they?  I don’t know how much difference a week can make, but I am hoping the grandpa and I can change his mind.

Reading just ought to be fun, you know?

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1 Response to “Reading with Expression”


  1. 1 writeathome June 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    To not read without expression? I can’t imagine who would want to listen to that. I wonder what would be the point of teaching a kid to read without expresssion. Reading outloud was my favorite part of homeschool when the kids were younger. It was great when they would become captivated by a book and scream for me to continue when I told them it was time to stop. Sometimes I would just have to give in and read some more. Absolutely, reading should be enjoyable.


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