Why not build family unity and help kids excel in reading at the same time? We love to have a family reading goal…mostly because there is a potential for ice cream….but the other rewards are really greater. (It is OK that my kids don’t realize that yet. :))
The process is simple: set a reasonable goal for your family and then figure a way to track the minutes. Minutes can be earned as a group reading together or as individuals. We build a paper ice cream cone on the wall one scoop at a time. It shows our progress. My seven year old daughter designed our “chart.” We start with just the cone. Then when our family members have read for a total of 500 minutes, we get our first scoop added to the cone. Once we have three paper scoops on the cone (1500 minutes), we get to have ice cream. (Now you have to realize that there are eight people in our family so adjust your goal to meet your family’s needs and age level.)
The amount of contribution from each family member is not equal. The goal is a group effort, but the minutes read by each person reflect the abilities and attention spans of the children and parents. To make sure everyone does put forth effort we made the rule that to get the ice cream at the end each person had to contribute at least 100 minutes.
Figure out a reasonable goal for your home. Remind your husband to read, too. I read an article about how boys are not doing as well in school because they don’t see their dads reading recreationally. Reading becomes a “girl” thing to do (link to source). Some of my best family memories are of my husband reading aloud to all of us. Those books he read are a part of our family. (See my husband’s post: Books at Bedtime)
Whatever way you look at it whether your child is reading solo, with you, to you, or with another family member, his/her ability and desire to read will increase…as will his/her vocabulary and comprehension. So snuggle up and read! And…enjoy your ice cream. 🙂
“Richer than I you can never be–I had a [parent] who read to me.” –Stickland Gillilan
The Reading [Parent] by Stickland Gillilan
I had a [parent] who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a [parent] who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a [parent] who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a [parent] who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each [parent] of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a [parent] who read to me.
(This poem is really called The Reading Mother. It is in the public domain. I used the source yourdailypoem.com. The clip art and featured picture in this post came from pixabay.com)
Rachel Bradley says
Love this, Amy! We don’t have a goal to reach, but I think we could try this! We’ve read to our boys when they were younger, but lately weve done a reading night where we gather in the living room and read our own books for an hour. Sometimes it will not happen but with a family goal like yours, we could have some encouragement!