As an active reader, I've been reflecting on our children's earliest relationships to reading and literature. Our now 8th grader is in love with story and the novel. She can easily devour books, especially if the cell phone is taken away, which is a daily ritual that must happen at some point before her brain oozes out of her ears. We monitor her time on media, more or less. The 8th grader didn't read independently until the end of 3rd grade. Asking her to read solo before that time was pulling teeth, although she loved to be read to and would read a short page or passage aloud just to have me read more. She was in a Waldorf school where reading was taught through a whole language approach (basically, dive in by copying a sentence from the chalk board and repeat after me). She heard many stories during her early education and benefited from this foundation in early literature, which resulted in a love for the novel and a tireless memory. Her sister began her formal education in a Waldorf school and transitioned to the neighborhood/ public school last year, in 1st grade. Her teacher in first and second grades, Ms. L. clearly has a sense of the hazards of the reading log, or at least doesn't impose it on the child who transferred mid-stream from Waldorf and is not yet reading at grade level. I read the article, Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids? and I thought of my kids experiences and the students I work with who are pressed to read independently before they have developed the capacity for this solitary act. Children before the age of nine are still immensely sensitive and reliant on their relationships to help guide them. It's a wonderful time to curl up and share a book, to unpack the story together, and to help develop a child's analytical skills and moral compass. This time also provides a window into the child's capacity for reading, especially as she begins to recognize site words or boldly sounds out an unfamiliar word. I don't laboriously point to each word I read, but I do give the young reader a buoy, or even a string of buoys every couple of lines to help her eyes find their way in the text as we together sink into the story.