By KellyAnn Bonnell, MA
Today on Geekmom, Cristen Pantano posits the question of whether she should encourage her son to read books other than Harry Potter. It’s an interesting read and one of those questions that we encounter as educators. Read her piece here. What are your thoughts on her dilemma?
As the early childhood/informal learning member of the League of Extraordinary Academics, this hit home for me. My first reaction to the piece was how often we forget that just because a child may have an advanced level of reading comprehension doesn’t mean they aren’t just a few steps up the developmental staircase from early childhood and the safety of repetition. We don’t bat an eyelash when a young child asks us to read the same book over and over, yet its often considered strange when that behavior carries into intermediate grade school. There is something soothing about familiarity.
Cristen’s son may also be demonstrating some geek like characteristics. Rabbit trail learning and obsessions are common in the world of geeks. It’s what defines being a geek. It’s not uncommon to immerse oneself deeply in the worlds of fiction. In fact I’m going to bet that since Cristen writes for Geek Mom and is thus a self proclaimed geek, she’s probably been a role model for this behavior a time or two in her son’s lifetime. My kids know I will not read a series until the final book is out because I do not want to wait months for an author to give me the next installment.
While I’ve never met Cristen or her son, I’ve had many students who have exhibited similiar behaviors and I’d submit that while its not common, its not uncommon either.