Be Patient and Respect the Process

Be Patient and Respect the Process

I recently read a post a friend of mine shared on Facebook (not hers, but someone else’s) that basically talked about living in the moment with your children, not trying to hurry them, and as a result, hurrying life away. As usual, these things make a lot of sense, and I try to adjust my life accordingly, sometimes more successfully than others. However, this go around, within a day, I encountered a situation involving reading with my son that actually helped me put it into practice!

A short time ago we visited our local public library, and one of the books I checked out was This Book is Out of Control! by Richard Byrne. Yes, I checked out a children’s book to read myself (first), and this book was laying on my bed when my son came to chat. Since we’ve read the other books with these characters, he saw the book, opened it, and started turning the pages. Exciting, right? Initially, not so much, because he was turning the pages very quickly, like too quickly to actually be reading the words. Of course, my first reaction is to tell him, “Dude, you can read the words. How about you slow down and actually read the words so you know what the story is about?” But hey, I’m trying to resist the constant need to redirect, trying to let him have his moment, so I say nothing…

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A few moments later, after he’s turned all the pages, he goes back to the beginning of the book. Now this time, I’m still not sure if he’s reading the words, but he’s definitely going slower than he was the last time. And then, at the end he’s like, “Mom, look…” and proceeds to explain to me part of the plot!

Now, naturally I don’t honestly know what would have happened if I had interrupted his first read through, but there’s a chance I could have turned him off to the book completely. It could’ve been frustrating to the both of us, but instead, I was the only one who was frustrated, and that was only in my head, and only for a moment.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to my son, and here’s just another example that sometimes when #RaisingReaders, you just have to let them do their own thing.

Side note: If you or your children haven’t read We’re In a Book! or This Book Just Ate My Dog!, also by Richard Byrne, I suggest you do so.

Pull Your Child Out of a Reading Rut!

Pull Your Child Out of a Reading Rut!

Even as adult readers, I know we all have times where we are losing steam when it comes to reading, whether due to life’s distractions or bingeing a series on Netflix. So its not a surprise that sometimes kids can get in a rut too. However, I found this list from Brightly that has some creative and different ideas to keep your child reading this month!

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Need a New Bedtime Read?–Grab a Non-Fiction Book!

Need a New Bedtime Read?–Grab a Non-Fiction Book!

Reading non-fiction or informational books may not be your first thought when deciding what to grab for your kids’ bedtime read (or you may think that it will send them to sleep faster), but reading a good non-fiction book can be just as entertaining as a story.

On one of our recent library trips, I was super excited that we got Jess Keating’s What Makes a Monster? I had read Pink is for Blobfish by Keating and really enjoyed it, so I was pretty confident this would be a hit. It was, and so here are a couple of the advantages of reading a non-fiction book:

It’s easy to break it up. When we sat down to read it, I explained to both kids that we weren’t going to be able to finish it in one night. They were fine with that and it was easy for me to figure out where to stop, because there was no story line.  Each time we turned the page, there was a new animal to look at, so I didn’t have to worry about figuring out where would be a good stopping place. And, they were super excited the next night to continue the book.

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There are cool things to look at. As long as its not a chapter book, most informational books have great photos and illustrations. And if its been written in the last 5 years or so, oh my, the choices for great informational books are endless! My kids loved gazing at the different animals that could be considered monsters!

–Your kids may learn something new! This not to say that there aren’t things to learn from a good novel or picture book. However, non-fiction books are usually pretty straight forward in what they are teaching. For example, who knew that prairie dogs were monsters?! Not me or my babies! 20180211_172658.jpg

So, don’t resist the next time your child pulls a non-fiction book off the shelf, you may both enjoy the book!

#RaisingReaders

Don’t Kill Their Reading Joy

Don’t Kill Their Reading Joy

My 6 year old son is convinced he can read chapter books. If you’re familiar with my blog, then you probably know that he once proclaimed, “I’m not afraid of chapter books!”, which was wonderful…then.

Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a pretty good reader, and right now he’s still ahead of the game. But at their first trip to the school library, he picked a book to check out that was WAY above his reading level. I mean, we’re talking close to my reading level. Fine, whatever, the logical side of me knows that choice is important, yada, yada yada. However, my problem comes in when he tells me he’s reading it, and he’s clearly NOT. 

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Me banging my head against the wall.

Each day he would come home and tell me how many pages or chapters he read on the bus, and I know, I should focus on the fact that he’s choosing to read on the bus. However, when I asked him what the book was about, in my nice teacher voice mind you, the response was most often something close to, “I don’t want to tell you about that right now.”  What?! Who says that? Only my child.  And when I offered to read it at bedtime, he didn’t want to because, “he was already reading it”. It got super frustrating for me, but because I didn’t want to kill his joy, but it was grating at me that he wasn’t really reading his library book.  It was taking everything in me to not make him read it out loud to me so I could “prove” that he wasn’t reading it. Luckily, in steps my daughter…

One night while we were preparing for our bedtime reads, my son came in my daughter’s room saying that he was finished with his book and needed something to read from her shelf while he was falling asleep.  While the initial suggestion was Super Fudge, she ended up giving him a book from the Press Start series, which is much closer to his actual reading level. The kicker was as he was leaving she (with no prodding from me) says, “Yes, you can take that one, and make sure you pay attention and actually read it, ’cause I want you to tell me about the book tomorrow!” Then she whispers to me, “You know mom, he wasn’t really reading that other book.”  No reply from me, just a compliment that the book she let him read was a good choice for him. But in my mind, I was giving her a high five and doing my happy dance.

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These Branches books from Scholastic are wonderful for the transition to chapter books.

Now, let’s be clear–this was no miracle moment where he realized the error of his ways and now only reads books that he actually understands. He does better, but its definitely a work in progress. I’m was just happy that 1) they were sharing books and 2) that at least 1 child has been listening to me. 🙂

So, in your #RaisingReaders quest, remember that although it may be difficult, don’t kill the joy your child may have reading…just get their sibling to do it for you. 😉

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole–Our book review

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole–Our book review

How I had never seen this book before, I don’t know. But I grabbed it from our public library a couple of weeks ago, and I’m so glad I did.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is literally about what the title says, these two boys, digging a whole. There aren’t a lot of words in this book, which makes it a quick read, but my kids LOVED the illustrations, so there’s still a lot to talk about. Here’s an example:

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Sam and Dave are SO close to discovering treasure, but guess what?…it doesn’t quite happen for them. Each time they get so close my kids started cracking up and yelling and Sam and Dave for not getting there. The dog seems to be the only one who is on the right path. There were also some questions about where Sam and Dave ended up, so we spend some time analyzing the illustrations at the beginning and at the end of the book. It does leave the reader with some unanswered questions.

Like I mentioned, we got this book from the library, so when we went to put it into the book return slot, my son says, “No mom, can we keep this one, its so funny, I want to read it again.” And so, back into the bag it went so we could renew it.

So if you (or your child) are looking for a quick and funny read aloud with excellent illustrations, Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is the book for you.

#RaisingReaders