5 Tips on how to raise a reader

by jennifer3. October 2014 09:42
Reading has always been an important part of my life. I was taught to read by my mother before I was 3 years old. Nightly story time began when my children were still in the womb. But loving to read, and raising your child(ren) to love to read are two very different things. Children that become lifelong readers (like me!) often need that "perfect" book, something that just opens their imagination and introduces them to the wide world of fiction. Non-fiction was always my children's first foray into independent reading. They loved to read books about animals, weather and geography. But getting them to read fiction INDEPENDENTLY was a little challenging. I always read fiction books to them during our evening story time. Harry Potter, Little House on the Prairie, and of course, shorter non-chapter books like Ferdinand the Bull, Going on a Bear Hunt, Skippy Jon Jones, and Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel were (and still are!!) some of our favorites. In 3rd grade I bought Haley all of the Sunshine State Young Readers Award books (SSYRA) she read a few of them, but it was more out of a sense of obligation to ME than of her wanting to do it for HER. I found it so odd that a child of a LIBRARIAN wouldn't take the mom librarians suggestion for great books. She'd take suggestions from her school media specialist and classroom teacher but not her own mother. So I backed off, and decided to use the tips I used with my own library patrons to try to instill a lifelong love of reading in my own children. 1. READ ALOUD. Just as I mentioned above, reading aloud is something that I have always done with my kids, and continue to do with them today at ages 8, 9, and 10. They love to have me read them a story, and I love reading to them. 2. STICK WITH A SERIES. If my kids love a book that is part of a series, I'll continue reading the series to them. But I noticed that Haley (my oldest) was often asking to read ahead in the series. I'd get her hooked on the first book, and then she'd take the series and finish the rest of it! Score one for Mom Librarian! 3. MODEL READING BEHAVIOR. I make sure that my kids see me reading. And reading a REAL book. Not an e-book. Not a magazine, but a real honest to goodness book.  I also make sure that reading is part of our family lifestyle. The kids and I have a 30 minute "silent reading" time every afternoon. I read, they read, and though 30 minutes is hard for Ronin, he's working on it. He might only get 10 minutes, and then I read aloud to him for the other 20 minutes. 4. LET THEM CHOOSE!! This one was hard for me. I despised when Haley would bring home Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. But she loved them. She could read through them quickly, she was laughing, she was engaged. I had to remind myself that even through Greg demonstrated behaviors that I didn't want Haley to do, it didn't mean that she would simply by reading the book. If anything it was the opposite. She got to "live" through Greg's bad choices. 5. CLASSICS!! As a librarian I have a TON of books in our home. And a lot of those books are classics. Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, etc., all take up a prominent spot on our bookshelves. As Haley started to become a more voracious reader, she started grabbing the classics to fill up her time between visits to the library.   This year, Haley decided she wanted to read the SSYRA books. All 15 of them. She started last week, and as of today she has read 8 of the 15 books.   But the BEST part of watching my children emerge as readers is that they are reading just for the sake of reading. Countless studies have shown that children that start reading earlier have better academic success AND become LIFELONG readers. And we visit the library often!! They have so much more at the library than just books!! Like Lego's. Lego's are fun. Do you have any tips to share on raising a reader??

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Jenny

October 6

by jennifer6. October 2013 23:09
I am tired. After a whirlwind of a day yesterday, I just want to go to sleep. After we did the Race for the Cure yesterday my mom, the kids and I drove up to Orlando to experience Sea World's Spooktacular event (more details on this to come later.) We arrived at the park at 11:30am, and left close to 7pm. Remember we woke up at 5am to participate in a race. We stopped at an I-4 rest area to change out of our race clothing and in to our Spooktacular outfits! When we made it home last night my husband had made a wonderful stew with hot biscuits. That meal hit the stop after a day of pretty lousy theme park food (and more to come on that, too!!) I was the first one up this morning close to 8am! I started breakfast and the house slowly started to wake-up. I took the coffee maker out of the house, and we have no creamer, so James drove up to the store and got a cup of coffee for my mom and himself. I played catch-up on a few social media chores, my mom played with the kids, I took a shower, and Nanny left. We always miss her when she goes! But she'll be back in 2 weeks for James and I to attend an adult only Halloween party (I still don't know what to dress up as....any ideas??) We spent the afternoon shopping. We're planning some pretty massive home renovations in the next few months. 2 total bathroom remodels, as well as a kitchen remodel. Installing new sliding glass doors, all new flooring, and the starting phases of turning our garage in to a liveable space. Thankfully we have nearly identical taste when it comes to furniture type stuff, so deciding on sinks, granite, etc., was pretty easy.  James has also been working on building a side shed for my push lawnmower. I'm nearly done with Discovery of Witches. It's a pretty weak read, but it kept me entertained on the car ride today while James took us from store to store, so I'll probably read the sequel. What are you reading these days??

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Jenny

Music Monday: We Don't Need No Education??

by jennifer2. June 2013 16:46
Typing a double negative just made the hair rise up on my arm. When I was in school, this would be "the song" that we would sing on the last day of school. But for today's music Monday theme (remakes) I'm including a techno version! The last day of school for MY gang is Tuesday, and they will continue to get an education throughout the summer. We will have reading and math time every day during break. The kids can't back slide during the summer months, and if I don't stay on top of them, they certainly will. Haley needs to work on improving her math skills and it's my goal to teach her all her multiplication facts before she starts 4th grade. Ella will work on those same math facts so that as she enters 3rd grade she'll be ahead and all three will continue to read read read. We're taking advantage of the Pasco County Summer Reading Program: Dig Into Reading and will spend many hours in our local branch. All three will also be participating in ONE week of summer camp of their choosing. Haley and Ella both chose an acting themed summer camp, and Ronin chose a sports camp. I will be keeping them busy busy busy!!  What are your plans for the summer? What are your kids doing? Any camps??

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Jenny

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