Parenting · Raising kids · Raising Readers · Uncategorized

Reading should be natural, not forced

One day this week my daughter didn’t take her daily folder back to school, and it was my fault.

Here’s the thing–her daily folder includes a reading log, where she has to log the number of minutes she reads each evening. Not my favorite, but fine, whatever. Now although I have my kids do their homework as soon as they get home, reading a book is not always part of that routine. Sometimes it is, usually when they bring a book from school or I brought new books my school home for them to preview. Instead, they spend most of their time reading at night, in the bed. After we read together, she grabs the book of her choice and that’s how my daughter has fallen asleep just about every night since she learned to read.  As a result, I have to remember to sign her sheet in the morning and log (guess-timate) how much time she read the previous night. The end of the school year is nearing, and this was actually the first time we forgot her folder. (And if you ever saw my family trying to get ready and leave the house in the mornings, you would realize how much of a feat it is that this was the first time.)

The thing is, I get what her teacher is trying to do. Students need to be reading at home on a regular basis, and this is a way to keep track of it. However, in my #RaisingReaders quest, I want to instill in my children that reading is not something that is done just for homework or to fill in a reading log, but something that is enjoyable, useful, and can be done just about anytime. As the author of the beloved Ramona books, Beverly Cleary said:

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I mean, we do our homework at the kitchen table. How often do you read at the kitchen table?

Exactly. You get in the bed, in your comfy couch/chair, or on the porch/deck and get into a good book. I want reading to feel natural and comfortable to my kids, so it takes a little more effort on my part to take note of how long before she falls asleep each night and to remember to fill out the log in the morning, but in the long term, if I can actually #raisereaders, its totally worth it.

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