I remember reading when I was a kid...most of the time I dreaded it....book reports...yuck! As an adult I do enjoy reading. Give me a book, a spot next to the fire, and a warm drink I am good for hours!
One of things I have strongly encouraged and tried to develope in each one of my children is a LOVE of reading. I am a strong believer is teaching phonics. Learning to read always opens up a whole new world to our children, allowing their imaginations to take flight. My oldest, Lance, is an admitted book-aholic! That boys consumes books, sizable books (150 pages), in a few hours. I think one of the keys to creating a love of reading in my kids is allowing them to choose books that interest them. Although I don't always let them choose the books......I am the teacher! I do however bargain that if they read a book I choose then they get to choose the next book. (Just for the record, they do usually like the books I choose for them....)
Each child has an allotted time of reading to accomplish each day:
Lance (4th grade) reads 45 minutes
Caleb (1st grade) reads 20 minutes
Zach (kind.) I read 2 books a day to him
~These were actually goals the kids set and I agreed to them.~
Here are a couple other things were do to promote book worms around here:
* I love books that combine real events in history with fictional characters. The kids learn information and get to use their imagination at the same time. (Aka: Sneaky Learning)
* I love bio books. Learning about important people in history is important to me. Most of these people I know nothing about, because I was never taught or never learned. Either way, it is important to me that my kids know and understand important people of the past. (example: John Wesley, CS lewis, Daniel Boone, John Smith, Harriet Tubman, ect.)
*Pick books that have been made into movies.* I have my kids read the book first, then when they finish the book we watch the movie together. **I have only done this option with my oldest**
* I read aloud to the kids* I pick the book and then read ONE chapter at a time to them. Everyone picks a cozy spot around the room and listens as I read.
*BOOK IT* We are huge fans of this program by Pizza Hut!! If you are not in a program like this one, make up your own. Rewarding them for meeting their goals motivates them. (It also warrents a "night out" which equals NO COOKING FOR MOM.....it's a WIN...WIN for everyone!)
~A bit of advice~ I have learned that many of the "classic" books that are considered by some a "must read" often contain material I do not want my children reading. This may pertain more to my the kids as they are older. I would strongly suggest reading books before you give it to your kids to read (or get the go ahead from someone you trust who has read the book). I think it is important that we are mindful of what ideas and graphic images are being suggested to our child as they read a book.
The following pictures are what prompted this whole blog post......I caught Lance in a reading trance last week and thought I should capture it on film....digital film anyway....
So no matter how you prefer to read.....I hope as the weather cools off you can curl up with a good book and encourage reading in your house.