Happy National Family Literacy Day!
(November is also National Family Literacy Month!)
I love reading and writing. I have since I was a kid. My kids don’t share that love quite yet, but I’m hoping as they age and I phase out their 21st-century technology (I’ve already put their iPads and the TV into storage), they will read and write more often. I am really trying to make weekly trips to the public library happen. I just wish the library didn’t have so many toys. Kids might be more interested in choosing books if they didn’t have a gazillion other things to do at a LIBRARY.
WHEN WE READ
In the summer, it’s so hard to get the kids to do anything even remotely related to school – and they associate reading and writing with school, which is…boring, of course. But I always have them sit down before bed and I read them a book or two, then have the older kids each read a book. They like that because it’s like being a teacher – showing the class each page and making funny noises.
In the fall, winter, and spring, we read at bedtime, and now that their devices are gone, in the mornings before school, on the weekends instead of morning cartoons, and I also have a pile of books in the car for Hannah for the forty-five-minute car-line wait. We will be reading and writing a lot more this season. We had snow in October this year, so I’m expecting an extremely cold, snowy winter.
I’m starting a habit of having the kids practice writing after dinner before they get ready for bed. It doesn’t leave much time on weekdays, but on the weekends, we get a bit more creative, with crayons, colored pencils, and other tools to make it fun. Because honestly, most of the time, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get them all to sit down and write.
WHERE WE READ
I read to them upstairs while they are getting ready for school and at the table in the kitchen while eating breakfast. Avery will read to us in the car on the way to and from school/Target/etc. I try to get them to read at the library, but as I said above, too many toys.
After they have been bathed and dressed for bed, they gather their favorite blankets and pile onto my bed for story time before bed. I usually just read them the library books we picked out the Saturday before since two out three kids don’t like chapter books (there aren’t any pictures to look at in chapter books).
I have them write at the desk in Avery’s room or the dining room table. Hannah and Lauren practice letters and numbers, and I have Avery pick a prompt a day to write about (some personal, some fictional, some seasonal). I try to have her write more than a few lines, and focus on her spelling and keeping her letters all about the same size.
WHAT MY KIDS LIKE TO READ
Books about Moana, Elena of Avalor, Elsa and Anna, Daniel Tiger and pretty much any other character are all things they love to read. I make it a habit to check the library’s online catalog for certain characters and books the week before we go, so things our library doesn’t have can be ordered from the neighboring libraries. Avery also loves learning about different things like dinosaurs, rocks and minerals, cats, and horses. I try to get them to each choose a fiction and a nonfiction book every time, but sometimes, characters win out. As long as they read it, I don’t mind! We also practice sight words with flashcards any time we can fit it in.
WHAT I READ
I do not like reading nonfiction. At all. I like fiction – especially the paranormal kind. The Mortal Instruments series, Clockwork series, Harry Potter (of course) and Matt Archer series (one of my all-time favorites). I have over 500 books in my Kindle app, but honestly, I only read a few of my favorites over and over. It’s comforting (just like how I watch Supernatural and iZombie over and over. Never get tired of it.)
I also write paranormal fiction. Bigfoot, vampires, werewolves/shifters, and my current work in progress, about Nordic mythology (lots of research for that one, so it’s pretty slow-going). I’ve never finished anything and I’ve never shown my work to anyone. I don’t think I ever will, just because I don’t want to be judged. That may change if I ever finish something worth publishing. We’ll see.
STRESS AWARENESS DAY
It’s also National Stress Awareness Day. I read because it calms me down. Reading helps me fall asleep (and it gives me something to do in the middle of the night when I just can’t go back to sleep). I read because it’s the only thing I’ve done for the past twenty-five-ish years that remains constant (except for the two years after Hannah was born when I just could not read anything to save my life. It was a sad two years, book-wise.)