Wednesday, January 30, 2008

WFMW - Encouraging Reading

As I mentioned a few days ago, my eldest daughter Polly just got her very first library card. My motherly pride is about to run riot, I can tell you. Next thing you know she'll be reading War and Peace. Or not.

We are still working through a phonics program. Reading is not something that comes entirely naturally to Polly. Tigger, her younger sister, actually seems to have more reading "intuition" than Polly does. Still, Polly is coming right along. With her new library card we allow her to check out 5 books, the only rule being that they have to come from 5 different places in the children's library and that Mom and Dad have the ultimate veto power. (Insert evil maniacal laughter here...)

I simply showed Polly the different sections, as in, "Here are books about cooking, here are books about history, here are art books, here are books about crafts, here are stories about real people, here are science books, here are picture books, here-are-the-dime-a-dozen-mass-merchandise books." Yeah, that last category
should be bannedis not my favorite. But just telling her to get "a variety" wouldn't have worked because she would probably choose 5 story books and protest that they are not the same story. As it is she is choosing very interesting book and she examines them carefully even when she cannot quite read them all.

Other ways to encourage reading:
- Be sure your kids see you reading a lot.
- Always, always read a bedtime story aloud no matter how grown up your children seem.
- Encourage the older children to read to the younger. Even Tigger is known to get out a picture book and "read" a story to the baby.
- Play a book on tape or c.d. during nap time or quiet time, as it is known around here.
- Keep books where they can reach them. This is important. The books have to be easy to get out and fairly easy to put away. We have shelves, o.k, shelves are pretty much taking over our tiny house but anyway, we keep many books on the lower shelves for the girls.
- Take them book shopping with you. Show them how to choose a good book. Keep a list of books you want and show your delight as you find what you are looking for at a good price.

These are some things that Work for Me! What ways of encouraging reading work for you?


Amy D said...

I love your 'rule' of choosing from different areas. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I remember the children loving to read. I'd almost have to make them stop reading. Our son Justin read in the porch swing in the warmer months and our daughter Brittany climbed the cherry tree out back and read there along with several dolls and stuffed animals. She read to them too. They had their reading "spots". It's good for them to have a quiet place to go. Brittany is married and still reads quite a bit but after 18+ years of school about all Justin reads is paper work at work and occasionally the newspaper.
Keep encouraging them. Books offer so much to a child.

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