Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Encourage Reading.....

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....

I promise that he did not pose for any of these photos...he caught me on the last one though.....he gets so into what he's reading he doesn't even know what's going on around him!!

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.


Sarah said...

We love reading too...and are working on creating bookworms. We read aloud 30-60 minutes/day (and they are usually begging for more, but SOMEONE has to make lunch). I'm a firm believer in teaching through books. Definately a highlight around here! We're blessed that Fort Worth has an awesome library system! I like your idea to have them set reading goals once they are older! Cute pictures, I love it!

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