I have always been an avid reader.
As a child, both my parents read to me everynight. I’m constantly reminded of this when my mother points at me and says “You better be reading to those kids everynight”. As I grew, what I loved changed from dinosaurs, to Fear Street books, to books about talking animals, to fantasy. Books were one of those things I could alway ask for and almost always get. My mother use to say “I have no problem buying you a book,” when I might of been asking for whatever the latest toy craze was.
My grandmother also told me a story of when my father was in school, saying “It doesn’t matter what they read, as long as they are reading something” supporting the idea of children reading comic books or magazines. When I use to stay with her, we took advantage of paperback sales, library subscriptions, and she saved all the kid’s magazines under the bed in an old milk crate: Ranger Rick, Highlights, etc.
But because I was such an avid reader, my family never had to encourage me to read. It was just something that I desperately loved to do.
So when I had children, I figured it would be something that they would naturally enjoy to do.
While Nat is still too young for me to guage whether he’ll be a reader (though he does love books and loves to be read to), my step-daughter was another story. Em is incredibly creative and active. An amazing artist for an 8 year old, she makes such beautiful things. She loves to ride her bike, play sports like 4 square, and swim… Holy Mother, does she love to swim. Her mother calls her “her little fish”.
But reading did not come easy. It wasn’t as interesting and I don’t think she is ever going to be the kid who can just sit down and read a book in one setting. She’s too active. Even when we have the TV on, her mind is going and she’s drawing what she sees or using it as background noise for whatever craft she’s creating or building. Reading was not at the top of the to do list.
Her school, Bangor Baptist, worked with her through 1rst and 2nd grade. It was AMAZING the progress she made from September of 2014 to May 2015. I was so insanely proud of her (and still am) and during the summer, we have continued to work with her, having her read.
But she grows bored and fights it sometimes.
My friend, Kate, mentioned that what I should do is read the same book as her, that way we can talk about the book together, but also if something happened in the book, such as flying a kite, then we could do the same activity.
Another idea we have had recently, is that my husband and I have started reading more in front of her, vs reading at bedtime after they kids are in bed. That way she can model our behavior.
But recently, my favorite thing, was to take her to the book store and show her all the different types of books she could read. On Saturday, we did this and she picked out the first book of Equestria Girls (which just happens to be at Books-A-Million as a bargain book for 2.97 Hardcover).
What was incredibly exciting was that as soon as we got into the car, she popped open the book and read a few pages. When she got home, she suggested to her father that they go outside and read on the porch.
As I watched her excitement for this book, I felt that same excitement. Not only because I was watching her do something I enjoy greatly, but also, because I feel like I won at being a Mom that day.
Have an idea to get your kids reading? Share below!