I love to read. If I had a free day to do whatever I wanted…reading would be at the top of my list. However, at this point in my life, as hard as I try, and as much as I want to, I struggle to find time to read. One book I did recently devour was Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash. This book had short, easy to read chapters–which worked great for me. I just stuck the book in my purse and would pull it out while waiting at the doctor’s office or if I got to a meeting early and had a few minutes to spare.
I think the reason I loved this book so much is that I could completely relate to the author’s overwhelming desire to impart her passion for reading on her children. She shared fun, meaningful stories about her struggles and successes in “raising readers”. She also included helpful advice and resources at the end of each chapter. At the end of the book she even included helpful reading lists for children of all ages (Great Books to Give for a Baby Shower, Books to Read Aloud on a Rainy Day by Firelight, Series That Hooked My Kids a Little Later, etc).
I guess that, simply put, I loved this book because it was entertaining and fun to read, yet also gave me great ideas to use with my own kids. I look forward to referring to it for years to come as I (hopefully) raise my kids to be readers.
My oldest is about to turn 4 years old and although I’m always wishing that I could spend more time reading with her, I do what I can, which for the moment means we read 3-4 books before bedtime every night. Sometimes I let her choose the books, and sometimes I choose the books and let her pick the order we read them in. I have to admit it’s always a struggle for me on the nights she chooses, if she doesn’t choose books that I consider “good.” However, I think a love of reading in general is more important to cultivate at this point than good taste in books, so I grin and bear it and struggle through princess story after princess story.
On most nights she asks to read “one more” and while part of me is so excited that she has the desire to read more, there’s always that other part of me looking forward to the kids being in bed and finally having a moment to relax. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to limit book time. I think it makes that time more special and desired. I also think it’s great to build it in as part of your daily routine. For us, it works perfectly right before bedtime. It gives her a chance to wind down and gives me a chance to spend one on one time with her while Daddy gets the baby ready for bed. I look forward to our reading time every day. Even on those long, frustrating days when I’ve failed to be patient time and again, once it’s reading time, all is forgotten and we snuggle up together on my bed and just enjoy reading.
So…I’m always looking for new ideas to make reading time with my kids fun and exciting. How do you make reading with your kids a special time each day? Or, if not reading…what’s something you’re passionate about that you hope to pass down to your kids?