Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our At-Home Read-to-Me Summer Reading Mission

Because mission sounds cooler than "program" or "goal" . . . .

I was too late looking into a summer reading program of some sort for my kiddos (primarily, the toddler).   They both (at the ripe old ages of 28 and 10 months) love books anyway but I want to keep encouraging (err . . . bribing? possibly?) that love.  They're to little yet to be reading to themselves in a legitimate manner. My 2 year old will hunker down in her bed looking at multiple books for minutes. (And anyone with a 2 year old knows that minutes are awesome units of time. 2 minute time out. 10 minutes to bed. 30 minute "rest". Just a minute.)

Since taking on more classes and having all of the household duties on my shoulders while my Marine has been gone I've totally slacked on reading. After putting them into their beds the other night I grabbed a book on trains and sat in the floor and read to them. All the jabbering, the attempts at distracting themselves from much needed sleep, and the occasional shrieking death-howls were put to an end as I began to quietly start into the first paragraph. The parrot-like toddler clung to my words and the baby stared sleepily through crib slats at the colorful pictures -- both mesmerized.

**Hello, dummy (thinking to myself) why you no read more?! Dang it! LE SIGH**
(yes, I've started thinking "le sigh" as a term inside my head. i just did it again. ugh.)

Anyway, this sparked a last minute search for a program for them. Perhaps something with an award system exists?


Too late for most things. Some info was far too vague. Others were aimed to the 4+ crowd.

I decided to devise a plan to keep me engaged with a goal of reading MORE. Now, I'm not going from reading 0 books to 2-3, personally. We're going from reading 4-5 times (minimum of two DIFFERENT books, if I'm lucky) a day to aiming more for 10. Given the longevity of most children's books, this is really only a minimum of 30 minutes (3 per book) and anywhere up to a couple conglomerate hours of reading.

When's the best time to read to them?

Whilst the toddler is on the mini-potty; before nap and bedtime; during lunch or breakfast; whenever the TV quota is met (heh heh); anytime at all.

First stop: LIBRARY. (the Rogers Public Library, to be exact)

We have a TON of books. TONS. We've read them all multiple times. ALL. Multiple. Yes.

So I found a couple I'd never read and a couple I remember reading when I was little. We went through all of them moments after returning home from the library the other day and we've read them many times since.

This is great.

BUT . . . I suck. SO . . . I need visual reminders.

Maybe a piece of paper on the door? Boring.

A list on the fridge? So 1990s.

Sticky note on the computer with a running list of read and un-read books? Yeah, right. Like I'd keep it up. hahaha


Pretty colors. Construction paper + Scissors = Strips of Rainbow

That's all fine and dandy. I'll write the titles and authors on each strip as we read. I can totally glue them to another sheet of paper and hang it up on the fridge or an obvious wall space.

(The boring police are flickering their annoying LED lights now.)

Hey look . . .

A cup sitting on the shelf being totally lazy and unhelpful. TO WORK it goes! I'll stick strips of paper with book titles into the vase as we read. Our mission: fill it until it's full.

This is our At-Home, Read-to-Me Summer Reading thingy.

So, there ya have it. 5ish more weeks until I'm back to my courses. Hopefully we can get the vase FULL of  slips. By using the library, I can decide which books I want access to on our shelves at home,  which I prefer to avoid, and which were sufficient

Another thought: for older kids assign a monetary value to each slip. 25 cents. Don't be crazy. If you read 20 books that's . . . money. Calculate it yourself. It's late and I've had a long day.

Now GO! Motivate your kiddos to be nerdy little bookworms instead of nerdy little computer viruses!

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