27 August 2009

Trying to be Twaddle-free

Last week when we were camping I began reading a new chapter book to the girls. It had been a while, so I thought that with the school year starting soon it would be a good time to pick one up again.

I began reading The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham to them, which I myself hadn't read, but it has animal characters and takes place in a lovely countryside. There's even a Disney ride inspired by it. So it should be great for my 6 and 3 year old, right?

Well, two weeks and much struggling and suffering later, I finally looked up the reading level.

Seventh grade!

Yikes, no wonder they couldn't follow it.

I do know that a child's listening and comprehension level is above their reading level, but a 7th grade book to a first grader is definitely more than we are able or willing to tackle. And this is definitely a tough one.

I know it's on this list and this list for second grade, and I realize that we're just starting first grade, but seriously? Here's the last sentence of the chapter I read to my girls tonight:

"For others the asperities, the stubborn endurance, or the clash of actual conflict, that went with Nature in the rough; he must be wise, must keep to the pleasant places in which his lines were laid and which held adventure enough, in their way, to last a lifetime." I know that this is out of context, but doesn't that seem a little difficult to understand?

Have you read The Wind in the Willows to your young children?

Or am I just a wimp?

Break it to me gently, please.


  1. No, you're not a wimp. That is a hard book. I didn't read it to my kids when they were young. (I haven't read it now that they're older either.)


  2. I have not read that book to my kids. We are trying to be more twaddle free also haha :) We are almost done with Stuart Little and will start with Charlotte's Web next.

    Overall though, I really think you just have to listen to how your kids are handling a book. I think some can handle things before others.

    Here is another great list.