Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. This is a great time to assess where we are in our lives and where we want to be. In 2012 I joined some other moms in trying to read 1,500 books to my kids that year. We did it and it was a very interesting experience. Then last year, some one suggested that we read 2,013 books to our kids during the year. I eagerly signed on and was ready to go for it. That would require me to read 6 books a day to my daughter, which didn’t seem at all impossible.
Well, the air quickly went out of my sails, and I realized that we have entered a new phase in our reading which consists more of chapter books. While I was hopeful that I could read six picture books a day plus chapter books, I quickly realized I couldn’t. So, I did something I really don’t like to do. I quit the read aloud challenge.
Coincidentally I just read Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition this past December. He mentioned a family that set a goal to see how many days the father and daughter could read together without taking a break. They kept a running total that was well over three thousand days. This included proms, a divorce and their read aloud days ended when she left for college.
I found that story to be so inspiring. I realized that while I did read my kids a lot of books, we still had days that no reading aloud for pleasure was being done. More than having a list of all the books we read, I craved reading to be a daily habit. So three days before the New Year I began our daily reading adventure to establish reading together as a daily habit in my home. I am so pleased with the results.
It is amazing how making a commitment can bring about changes. I got a new calendar and each day that we read together I write a number showing the consecutive days we have been reading. The kids have gotten used to me saying prior to enjoying a family movie night, “Wait, we need to read a chapter of our book.”
Worst case scenario, I read one chapter of our book. Best case, I usually read for about an hour. Won’t you join me in establishing reading as a daily habit in your home regardless of the age of your children? My children range from six years old through eighteen years old, but none of them have grown tired of sharing a read aloud with their mama.
If you want to get motivated to read to your kids look no farther than The Read Aloud Handbook. It is a fabulous book and includes lists of great books to read to your kids.