Visiting the movie section is always a treat, but there are times that mommy has to make some tough decisions. Making sure the movie is clean is of the first and foremost importance, but a close second would be to check if there is a book that this movie is based on.
Then mommy has to inform said child that while, yes, the movie is available, they are not permitted to watch the movie if the book hasn’t been read. Ouch!
While the kids will occasionally groan and complain about our movie/book policy, I believe they understand its importance.
If they were to watch the movie first, it is highly doubtful the book would ever be read. Now that they know the story, why should they bother with spending hours reading it?
If they read the books first, they will have a better understanding of the story and often appreciate the movie even more. There are no details that have been cut or unnecessary additions, it is read as the author intended.
While on occasion our children have liked the movie just as much as the book, I have yet to hear that they enjoy a movie more. They have always appreciated the books much more than the films.
One fun way we have helped encourage our children to read through their books is to reward them with a “special viewing” of the corresponding film. Once the book has been finished, the movie is rented and they are allowed to stay up later than the other kids and watch the film with mom and dad.
Each child, in turn, is allowed the same privilege once a book has been completed. We have done this with the Narnia series, Bridge to Tarabithia, City of Ember, The Hunger Games, and many (many, many) more!
Our children not only smoke through books, but we then have the opportunity to critically think about each venue. How did the movie compare to the book? Which similarities or differences were noticed? Was there a lesson to be learned?
While reading the books has been an essential part of our lives, watching the movies has definitely added something to our learning.
While, I am sure, I have neglected a few books along the way, we have been very faithful to our book policy. When we come across a new film for our amusement, the question always arises…. To book or not to book? (But, yes, of course!)
Do you make your children read the book, before watching the movie?