I’m very eager to have Jameson (and all other offspring) love books.
So, me being me, I figured that must mean that I should acquire a vast array of great books. But do you know that books cost money? A lot of money? Even at garage sales (which is where I’ve purchased most of our books so far!)?
I was feeling very discouraged, and it seemed like everywhere I looked, there was evidence that everyone else in the world had managed to buy all of the books I’m supposed to have in order for my children to grow up loving to read.
And then I had an epiphany.
I don’t have to have lots and lots of books. I don’t even have to have the best books.
I just have to read the books we have.
(Easier said than done: I end every day wishing I’d read more books to Jameson.)
So rather than put added pressure on myself to fit in yet another “chore”, I’ve been looking for ways to fit more reading into our existing routines:
I put a basket on Jameson’s dresser filled with books suitable for bedtime and naptime (and also my Bible and whatever other book I want to read, personally, while I rock the baby and Jameson falls asleep.)
I put a basket on a little table in his room next to his rocking chair to encourage him to look at those books.
I decided that lunchtime will be “poetry” time, since he takes forever to eat, and I’m done with my food way too fast. (Hoover is a good nickname for me, I’m ashamed to say.) I use the term poetry loosely; yesterday I spent the time singing Mother Goose rhymes while he looked at the corresponding pictures in our book. A Children’s Garden of Verses is the other book I’ve put in the kitchen for our lunch hour readings.
And books we’ve borrowed from the library are kept on an easily-accessed bookshelf. They’re always popular with my sanguine child! (Nothing like a new book!)
So we’ve been doing a bit more reading. Not tons, but a bit more. Mostly, I’m just trying to make it a regular part of our days, something Jameson can count on and look forward to.
For his part, he’s simply confirmed the idea that it’s not how many books we have, it’s just about reading them: he wants to read the same book at naptime and bedtime every day. (I’m just glad it’s a library book, and the longest we can keep this up is 9 weeks!)
What have you done to incorporate reading into your days?
-attend a local library’s story-time.
-regularly visit bookstore that are kid-friendly and have reading nooks.
-use a nap-time that you know your kiddo isn’t going to fall asleep–but only needs to rest–as a quiet read-to-himself time.
Good job already, D!
I’ve have often felt the same way…that we don’t read enough to him. But this week we toilet trained Jack and we have easily read 10 times as many books to him as usual. Now, he caught on to the whole toilet thing very quickly (as in, one day!) so I imagine we won’t have as many “forced” reading sessions in the weeks to come. However, it seems to have awakened his hunger for books and he’s already bringing them to us and reading them to himself more than he was a week or two ago! So while you may be a few months away from having this as a reading excuse, at least you can look forward to it!
Also, he will occasionally not be able to sleep during his naptime, so I set a timer for 30-45 minutes and tell him he has to stay in his room and read & listen to music or play quietly. At two and a half, he is totally able to handle this. Today he “read” to his stuffed animals!
I keep a very child size bookshelf in our toy corner, everyday he sits to play with his toys and everyday he pulls out the books and initiates reading time. I think that for Gideon, having him decide when he wants to read works well. On days where I feel like we haven’t read enough, I just sit and read to myself, in no time at all Gideon is right beside me with a stack of books. : )
Also, the “reading on the potty” thing is so true… although it’s going quite slow for us, whenever he’s sitting on the potty he says “read, book, read!”
We have all the board books (which even though they are sturdier, I still seem to find myself taping them back together) on a shelf in our entertainment center where they can “read” at their leisure…although it seems to be more fun to throw them off the shelf than to read them.
Then, we climb into Ali’s bed with her at bedtime and read her a book…and as soon as the back cover closes, she clasps her hands and squeezes her eyes shut for prayer time….and looks forward to proudly exclaiming “A-Mean!”
I have started reading AFTER naptime, and it makes a big difference for us. I was usually rushing since I wanted to get them in bed and get some things done. Now Kate eats a snack, and I read out of “Little House in the Big Woods” right now.
We also try and have a regular reading time about the time that James is going down for his morning nap. (This means he misses out, but he can’t really sit for the books she likes anyway. I try and read him a board book every once in a while…) When we read in the morning she gives me a big stack of library books, and we read as many as we can.
I have some baby safe books in each of the rooms, and Kate and James both enjoy looking at them.
We don’t read every day, but it does really help me to have set times for reading aloud.
So I know this might be cheating, but I find that even Jackson will sit still for a chapter from The Moffats if I give each of the kids a small cup filled with some sort of treat like animal crackers or raisins. In fact, now they ask all morning for read-aloud time because they’re looking forward to it. (Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I’m not ordinarily a “snack” sort of mom…) They also really love the read-aloud time while they’re laying in their beds. Perhaps this is because it is “delaying” bedtime in their minds, but again, the result is the same. :) If you can find ways to make the reading association a really, really special one, reading will become a really, really special thing.
I just started incorporating reading into our breakfast time. My daughter eats better when distracted so it’s a win-win. We’re reading through a Treasury of Children’s Bible Stories which was bought from the library’s second hand shelf. The illustrations leave much to be desired for a 3 year old but she’s grasping some key concepts from the stories!
This may sound a bit out there, but it’s true. I start reading to them at 6 months at bedtime. “Goose”. Always easy. I still read to them (at bedtime) at 17. Whoever lives here is read to by me at bedtime. With VERY little exception. Friday is poetry day at noon. The other noons we are reading Hercules or Socrates or Poe or something. Library visits are still special times of comfort for some odd reason. Maybe the quiet atmosphere and promise of intense absorption at home. Books on tape or CD with the story book to follow along are a good option for those other times.