If there's one thing that makes us different from other homeschoolers it's that we don't visit the library as often as we probably should. We're so busy with work and church and just life in general, we don't schedule in library time as much as we should. I don't want to think how long it's been since our last visit, but I made a point of going today. I took Jay with me while Josh stayed home with the other two kiddos (Katie was napping and Joey wasn't interested in going). I don't always get an opportunity to do things with each of the kids so I snap up the opportunities.
Jay and I had a great time. I quickly got the books I was looking for so he would have more time to look for himself and not have to be bored waiting on mom. He had his heart set on finding a book he could read by himself and a book that would be "fun". But, this trip to the library wasn't going too well, the poor kid was getting pretty frustrated and overwhelmed by the selection. He was already dissapointed that someone had already checked out all the Lego books and movies.
I suggested that we try to find something new we'd never heard of before. He wasn't too wild about that idea, he's pretty rigid about things (to be expected with a child with autism). I shared with him how I looked for new books when I was his age. That I would go through the rows, pick out a random book and try it out. I found many wonderful suprise favorites that way. So I did just that, grabbed up a random book and handed it to him. This particular book was one of a series of books, each about a different member of the Knights of the Round Table. Jay still wasn't too sure, especially that this particular one I picked up wasn't the first of the series. We found where the others were, the first one was checked out but the second one was on the shelf. I picked it up, handed it to Jay and suggested he sit down and look through it while I went to grab a book I needed that I forgot. He shrugged his shoulders and went to the reading area. My hope was that after he took a look at it he might get interested in it.
It worked! When I got back I asked him what he thought. He said "well, I like the pictures and it's not a really big book and I know some of the words". I asked him if he thought he'd like to try it and he said he would. I reminded him that if he didn't like it he simply had to bring it back and get something else. Then he said "I think I'll probably like it. I like knights and stuff." Good job kiddo!
I'm working on getting Jay to broaden his interests in books and not stick to the usual super heros and Lego themed choices. For one, there's not that many options in our library system for those and two, I really want him to see how large a world there is in books. Since he started working with the McGuffey readers, his reading has improved big time and he's becomming more confident and excited about reading. I want to cultivate that new found love of reading and open his eyes to just how fun and amazing reading can be, especially if you step away from the "safe zone" and explore something new. He made a first step today.