education

We do our best to D.E.A.R. Everyday

“READ.” is what MJ commands us to do a lot. I’ll admit it, most times I’m annoyed because she does this at the most “inconvenient” (but not really) times for me, like when I’m watching a tv show or looking on my phone and I tell her “Not right now.” (What a great example I’m setting for her, especially for reading, don’t you think?)

But now, I’m doing my best to “D.E.A.R.” (Drop Everything and READ) with our girls because I don’t want MJ to lose her love of books and reading and I want ER to start loving books and reading. MJ will go sit in her little library center that houses her books, pull out a book, look and “read” (the pictures) through it, put it on the floor, and grab another one (and go on and on).

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Here she is… “Queen of the Book Mountain”.

She can sit there for an hour or two. (Well maybe not an hour, but it sure seems like it. I’ll try to time her the next time she does it.) And when she’s finished, there’s a mountain of books taking over the floor of her library. (I’ll be honest, I used to get annoyed with that in the beginning, but now I’m just so grateful she loves reading.) I love that she loves to read, don’t you?

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MJ has gotten a little better about not taking out every book 📚 (she will only take out the books from one shelf instead of every shelf 🤦🏻‍♀️). She’s been sitting here for at least 10 minutes (before I took this picture) “reading” the books. She was there 20 more minutes before she saw me watching her. And then wanted to read more with me. So glad she loves 💝 books 📚.

February, March, and April were pretty big months to promote reading, with Read Across America Day and D.E.A.R. Day. But I want to promote reading year round for my children.

Why do we read?

Let me start from the beginning. I never cared for reading or to read. The only books I read when I was younger were the ones I had to read for school. I would read the beginning pages of the book like three or four times before I would actually sit down and read through the whole book because I wasn’t interested in reading.

Only when I got older did I start reading for pleasure. I have horrible memory, but my earliest memory of me doing this was around the time “The Notebook” movie was coming to theaters. I somehow found out it was a book and decided I had to read the whole book through before seeing the movie. (I’m not sure why, though. Maybe it was because I wanted to start taking up reading books as a hobby, which sad to say was just a “fad” for a short while.) So I sat down, laid down, whatever down and read the book. I’m not sure how long it took but I finished it and got to see the movie in the theater. Although the whole time I was watching the movie, I was thinking, “This happened in the book” or “This isn’t what happened in the book.” I guess you can say I didn’t quite enjoy the movie as much.

Anyway, after that book I found out that Nicholas Sparks (the author of “The Notebook”) wrote many books that were made into movies. So of course I had to get those books and read them so I can watch the movies after (only to compare the movie with the book, why? IDK). Nowadays, I hardly read books. Oh, I read, but on my phone, “articles” I find interesting on Facebook or Pinterest. Not a good thing to do if I want our children to read actual books.

Getting back to the question of this section. Why do we read? Well, I want to make reading a big part of our lives because I want our girls to love and enjoy reading. I want them to see that reading is fun and will want to read anytime, anywhere. If I want this, they need to see ME enjoying reading.

When I was in the classroom, many of the students didn’t enjoy independent reading time (like me). I tried (but failed miserably at) Daily 5 (which consists of five center like activities students can do independently. For more info about it, see The Daily Cafe website). Three out of the five centers of Daily 5 involved reading. There was “Read to Self”, “Read to Someone”, and “Listen to Reading”. It may surprise you that some of my students didn’t care for “Listen to Reading”. (How is that even possible? No matter how much I don’t care for reading, I still love listening to other people read stories.) They would be more interested in what their classmates were doing. (SMH.) “Read to Someone” also didn’t go well. Partners would argue or one partner would read while the other partner would be more engaged in another group’s book. (Ahhh!)

So of course my students would love “Read to Self”. (Not.) That was the worst. I felt like I was torturing my students making them sit (or lay down, because they got to choose where they wanted to get their work done) and read. Maybe I just didn’t “advertise” reading as exciting or fun. Maybe if I read books for fun I could’ve made reading more exciting and fun for the students. (Something I will need to work on if I plan on returning to the classroom. Yes, yes, I can still work on it now to benefit our girls.)

Anyway, because of this experience with reading in the classroom, I want my girls to view reading as fun and exciting so they don’t give their teachers any trouble. (Hey I’m just being honest.) Of course I want them to have all the other benefits reading has to offer, but this one is my biggest concern. Don’t give your teacher a hard time!

What do we do?

Well, we D.E.A.R. We “Read to Someone”. We “Read to Self”. We read the words, we read the pictures, we make up our own story to the pictures. We do whatever MJ wants to do with the book at that time. She’ll demand that we read the words but then in the middle of us reading the sentence she’ll point to the the picture and ask, “What is dis?” So then we talk about the picture. Sometimes I try to redirect her and point to the words as I read, but she’s so persistent and when she wants something done a certain way there’s no distracting her. (Gotta love her persistent nature.) So we talk about the pictures.

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Us reading. Yes, we even read the pretend words on the napkin book.

How is it going?

I think it’s going great. I really just go off of what MJ wants and it seems to be working out that we read everyday for at least ten minutes. (I know, the recommendation is 20 minutes a day. We’re working on it.) We don’t have a set time for reading. Although, we try to have a reading time at the end of Circle Time or before nap time.

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How do you get your daily 20 minutes of reading in?

***Schedule for posts***

I apologize but for now I’m going to be on a three week rotation for my posts until I can get more efficient with my writing and some sort of schedule. My goal is to post a piece in each of my interest areas once a week which that means I’ll be writing three pieces a week. (Yikes it takes me a week to write one piece 😳)

next week (5/22): health post

5/29: creativity post

6/5: education post

7/12: health post

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