When I was a little girl I loved to read. For quite a while when I was young I was infatuated with the Ramona Quimby series – I read every single one several times. We would go on vacation and I would make sure to hit the library to stock up for the drive. While my siblings dozed off on car trips I just sat and read. As I’ve grown older, I’ve made less time available for recreational reading, but I still enjoy the process and often spend “vacations” reading.
It is no surprise that I have a little reader. She fell in love with books at an early age as well and spends plenty of time with a good book. I found her like this, after school the other day:
…as comfortable as can be with chaos all around her and her little brother trying to get her attention. She cruises through every book she picks up and is always ready for something new. Her example is rubbing off on Hunter who is just starting to read. The excitement in a kids eyes the first time they read a book is priceless and I think my excitement exceeds theirs! We had one of those jumping up and down moments with Hunter as he passed off one of his books – I made it clear to him that reading is something to be excited about.
Someone asked how we get our kids to read: I don’t feel as though we do a ton to push reading, but we are consistent in what we do.
1. READ TO THEM FROM THE TIME THEY ARE LITTLE.
2. Reading is an expectation, every day. When they’re young, and can’t read, they spend time with books looking at pictures. It’s not a punishment but part of our routine. The last little while that time has been designated right before bed time. Sometimes we all grab books and read in the living room quietly, other times they read in their rooms before turning out the lights.
3. When they are in trouble and spending time in their room, books are always available but never toys.
4. We read scriptures every night as a family and we take turns with the verses. At times it is painful as they try and sound out all the large words but they do it.
5. We have books every where (and at times it’s annoying to keep picking them up!). We have them in their rooms, in the play room, in the office, in the loft and in the living room. Yes, some get trashed and it’s unfortunate, but it’s usually by a kid interested in looking at the book. We do have a few books that are only available with supervision.
6. When they’re young, we make flashcards to correspond with the book that they practice on their own.
7. Every birthday and Christmas they get books.
We don’t do a ton, but what we do, our kids have grown to expect. Will we have kids that don’t love to read? Probably – it doesn’t mean that our expectations and routines will change!