I’ve taken a couple months break from 21 day challenges… I needed it to consolidate what I’ve learned and experienced.
So far the 21 day challenges I’ve done are:
- 21 Days without Social Media
- 21 Days of Digital Decluttering
- 21 Days of Meditating (I also paired it with 21 Days of Blogging at the same time).
Honestly, these challenges have been LIFE CHANGING. They allow me to test out new habits without having to actually COMMIT TO THEM FOR A LIFETIME which terrifies the fuck out of me.
Plus I’m someone who does SO much better at a sprint than a marathon. Give me a big project to pull off with a stupidly small deadline and I’m like WOO I AM PUMPED I WILL BE #1 AT THIS. But give me something to do everyday for the foreseeable future and beyond? KILL ME NOW I AM WEAK.
Anyways, I’ve been hankering to get back into the 21 day challenge saddle.
This one will be a different kind of focus. It’s less about my own personal discipline, and more about setting and maintaining a parenting habit & culture.
Specifically, about helping my kids bloom into happy, enthusiastic, confident readers. They both love books, this is just the next step to consolidating it. It’s like a 21 day reading intensive… but (hopefully) without pressure, just good habits! It’s a Reading Month! A Festival of Books! A LiteraryPalooza!
Also: one of my favourite moments in parenting have been when I’m wedged between my two kids, sniffing their heads & reading books with them. I want to cultivate even more of those moments.
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Here’s the two parts I’m thinking this challenge will consist of:
1. Daily Habits
- 20 mins+ of Reading Time – listening to my youngest read while my eldest reads by herself
- 20 mins+ of Me Reading To Them
- Optional: A lesson from Reading Eggs/Reading Eggspress. (This last one is dependent on whether it is school holidays or weekend. I don’t want them to burn out on too much stuff during the school week. They currently have two more weeks of school holidays, so plenty of free time.)
Here’s the thing: I’ve done a lot of reading to and with them over the years. When we were homeschooling, i was reading hundreds of books a year to them. Reading Time isn’t foreign to them at allll… I’m just aiming for daily, repetitive consistency.
Daily, repetitive consistency is my fucking worst enemy thanks to having ASD & ADHD. I can be many things… an enthusiastic parent! An excitable parent! A creative parent! An encouraging parent! But someone who is hyper organised & repetitive? Very difficult to institute. Thus why I’m working on it.
Also, I’d like to say right here that I feel a bit worried about being judged online for being a shit parent because daily repetitive tasks aren’t my greatest strength in the world.
May I take the opportunity to pre-emptively say to any errant Judgey McJudgefaces:
Stop being ableist and sexist. Ableist because: ADHD & ASD makes this shit a thousand times harder than for neurotypicals. We are awesome parents in lots of other ways. Sexist because: if a Dad said the same thing, he’d be held up as God Among Men For Even Thinking About Trying. Mums are doing their ding-dang-darnlydest best. Support, don’t shame.
2. Reading Research Project
As I’ve discovered with these 21 day challenges… they become like mini research projects. Which, to me, is the most exciting thing of all. I fucking LOVE diving into a new topic. I get obsessed with shit, and love diving deeeeeep in.
So I’ll likely do some research (and share what I find along the way) about cultivating readers.
Or even… some READING… about READING. CAN IT GET MORE META.
Possible research ideas:
- I’d like to spend a couple of hours at the library to do a deep read/note taking of “how to teach your kid to read books”. Remember how I celebrated my birthday by going to the library, power reading through a pile of books & making illustrated notes about them? Like that, but you know, not on fucking social media. I’m so pissed that some of my work is only on social media. I need to remedy that.
- Interview people about how they encouraged their kids to read
- Read books book books books because lolz of course.
- I might even (GASP!) set up a new Notebook inside GoodNotes to document my research.
- Plus, of course I’ll share it here.
Setting myself up for success
I’m an Obliger tendency and do so much better when someone else knows what my goal is. Here’s how I’m using accountability to help consolidate those habits:
- My best mate is going to check in with me regularly, and also help me problem solve any issues I come up against. Get yourself a mum friend who has older kids, peeps. They know more stuff than you.
- I’m creating weekly reading logs every Sunday that will be viewed by someone else (SOMEONE ELSE’S EYES = INSTANT PRODUCTIVITY! WEEE!)
- I’m talking about this publicly, and making a whole fucking research log about it.
When do I start?
Fuck waiting for a new month to start! I’m hooking in now!
Two things I’d love to ask!
- If you have tips or experience in helping your kids become insatiable readers please do email in! And please let me know if you’re comfortable with me sharing your answers publicly in my research log! I’m also happy for it to just be a private email between the two of us (well… three of us… because my assistant will read it too. But she’s tops!)
- If you’ve got any recommendations for books or other resources about helping kids to become great readers, please let me know! I would love to hear them.
Also, if you’d like to get every post I make about this research project, make sure you sign up for my Daily-ish newsletter!
Hi ho, hi ho! It’s off to another 21 day challenge we go!
I’m so excited!