Mate, I feel like I am nailing this reading intensive challenge with my kids.
There’s so few parts of parenting where you can get that “I AM DOING THIS RIGHT!” sense of achievement, so it’s been bloody lovely to feel it from this challenge.
Here’s where we’re at:
- I read Raising Readers – my notes from it are here
- We’ve been doing 3 daily activities – a Reading Eggs lesson, I read to them for 20+ minutes, they read to me for 20+ minutes (well, the littlest does, and the eldest does her own reading)
- They’ve started doing Writer’s Club at school
- My eldest started an informal book club with one of her friends
- One of my kids has had a leap of 6 months in reading age in the last 4 weeks
- I hired a literacy tutor who comes to our house once a week for 2 hours – one hour for each.
Next up: adding incidental reading into the mix!
I got this idea from Raising Readers:
“Incidental reading is all about snatching pockets of time in a busy day to quickly escape into a book with your child. It could be while you’re waiting for the bath to fill or while you’re killing time before a doctor’s appointment. The key to incidental reading is to surround yourself with books so that they can be easily and regularly dipped into. Place collections of books in baskets or boxes throughout your home, chuck a few board books in the nappy bag, and stash a few in the car.”
First up, I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone, and bought Enid Blyton’s Cherry Tree Farm story collection. That way when we are out and about, waiting in the car or for appointments, I can just read to them from there.
It reminds me of when I had to head to emergency unexpectedly with my biggest kid last month, which turned into an overnight stay. I fossicked through the car before we walked in, and found a stray copy of Roald Dahl’s BFG. We had some absolutely delightful time waiting in emergency reading that book together. Incidental reading at its finest!
Project: Create A Book Bag!
To add even more incidental reading into our lives, I decided to make a book bag to add to our car.
I grabbed an old calico bag that was in our bag drawer.
I used some kid’s gouache paints that we had sitting around… acrylic would have worked fine as well, I just wanted to use up these babies before they shrivel up and die early deaths.
Then I handpainted “B O O K” onto it. And yes, that IS our dining room table that never gets eaten at because it’s a 24/7 ART STUDIO in our house. Mostly my kids projects, but mine too. And yep, it’s totally smeared with paint all over it, and I’m never getting rid of it or painting over it. It’s the only piece of furniture I’m sentimental about. We bought it when Starry was a baby, and it has the marks of every single craft project since then on it.
Here’s what it looked like when it was finished.
Then I piled it up with a bunch of picture books, novels and non-fiction, and slung it over the extra headrest in the car between the kids. Thus far, they are in love!
Books 4 Cats
My kids’ school doesn’t currently do Scholastic Book Clubs, so I reactivated our old home school account, and have been ordering through them again. They sent out this classroom poster in their last catalogue where you get kids to read daily for 10 weeks, colouring in each book as you go.
We decided to use it at home. We talked about what we could do as a reward when we finish it, and the kids requested a visit to the CAT CAFE. Oh my WORD, we are SO EXCITED.
Books 4 cats. This is the best idea we’ve EVER had.
With arms loaded with books & joy in our hearts!
In Reader Love,