What are you reading?
It doesn't sound like a complicated question. Every quarter -- for 17 years now -- I list the books currently read by my homeschooled children. Kids read books. It's not that difficult. Is it?
My youngest made me rethink a lot of my assumptions about learning. Ever the rebel, she balked at my traditional methods to teach her to read. She learned by playing a word heavy computer game. Her brother and sister would read the instructions and story to her and she eventually just started reading.
She is also a natural speller and has excellent penmanship, two things I thought were truly teachable. My son taught me otherwise. No amount of writing helped. It frustrated him. Do you know what happens when you are stressed and try to write? You're handwriting and spelling get worse.
Considering my experiences, it was not a surprise I had to rethink what it means to read. I couldn't write down all of those wonderful classics I had written on my oldest daughter's reports. I couldn't even write down the classics adapted to graphic novels that I had for my son. My youngest enjoys manga and anime.
For those who need the lesson, manga and anime are simply the terms used for Japanese comics and animation. It's a wide ranging field full of the genres you would expect in our own Western culture -- school based fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, sports, etc. -- but you get this from a culturally different perspective. You also read manga (if the publisher stays true to the art) from right to left and if you watch the anime in the original Japanese, you get subtitles. Lots and lots of subtitles.
From watching anime with my daughters, I know they both read very fast. Because I don't and I often need to ask what was said. My youngest is picky about what she watches. The story needs to be good and it needs to be funny or she moves on to something else.
So what is my daughter reading? How do I express that to an educational engine that has reduced reading to the sum of its parts? Because reading isn't about levels and requirements and keeping track of minutes. It's about reading what interests you, even if the words don't happen to fall neatly on a page.