Here’s how to build a strong reading habit for you and your family.
Here’s a little secret about me, I’m not real crazy about reading!! In fact, for years, I would only read about two books per year unless I was in school. Two books in a whole year!! I’m sure there were a couple of years that I didn’t read any. I just don’t like it. I’m slow at reading and I process while I read. So it’s just takes forever. It’s even worse if the book doesn’t keep my attention.
I love information and I try to fill my brain but sitting down with a book bores me to tears.
I want information or encouragement. I just don’t want to decipher and muddle through a lot of symbolism or lofty language to get. I want what I came for. I want the author to be clear and straightforward. Is that too much to ask?
I always struggled in school with literature classes, elementary all the way through college. I always had good grades but I had to work for them in English classes. I don’t like some styles of reading. In fact, I often can not see the symbolism that everyone else grasped onto so easily. I wanted to visualize and understand. As a matter of fact, because of this, I always felt so behind in reading. Like I was broken or different.
I’m not a strong reader. After all these years, I’ve learned that perhaps I just learn differently than others who may enjoy literature. Perhaps, I need information to be relevant for me to dig in. I wish someone would have seen this for me as a child and advocated for my way of learning. I understand that the way I learn is different, that’s why I’m good with numbers and critical thinking and not with literature. I think every child should have the opportunity to learn in a way that compliments them.
Now, as an adult, I’m trying to be real with my reading habits. I don’t read enough. I want to read more in order to continue learning. My kids are watching. If they never see me with a book, how can I expect them to read often and well?
I want quick bursts of information or encouragement. I don’t want to decipher and muddle through a lot of symbolism. I want what I came for.
I force myself to read but I still struggle with the process.
We are making reading a priority so we can build strong reading habits for our family.
Here’s our family plan for getting more reading done and indirectly training our kids to be strong readers.
1. Read in your interest. One reason why I was never a strong reader in school is because people forced me to read things that I didn’t really care about. It’s kinda funny saying this out loud now but it’s true! Even now, my interest is narrow and if something fits I love it. If not, well, not so much.
2. We need a time to read. This is part of our schedule. Everyone knows what is happening and everyone looks forward to quiet book time.
For me, I have a set time for reading in addition to family reading. I like to go read after my husband gets home while he plays with the kids. When the kids can read on their own, I will use that time to read for myself.
For the kids, we learned that right before bed not really the best time for reading. Although it does relax them, they can’t really focus enough to learn. We found that right before lunch is a great time to snuggle and read. I set my timer on my phone to 20 minutes and we read as many books as we can during that time. Sometimes the kids like to read along with their fingers, sometimes they’d rather I read and interact. I follow their lead and we have a great time. After the 20 minutes, they are ready to play.
3. Read close to the books. Sit down in front of the bookshelf. It is easy to pick the next book and to put the current book away. If you read in a different room you risk losing attention if you have to go to another room to gather more books.
For myself, I read propped up on my bed and my books are always on my nightstand ready to go. This is also a time that I can rest for a few minutes, just me. That’s a nice bonus!
4. Rotate turns to pick. My kids like to pick books out. Unfortunately, they often pick the same ones and can get fussy with each other. This practice gives me a turn to introduce new books to my kids and keeps turns fair.
For me, I read three or four books at a time. I pick up the book that I feel like reading that day and I usually finish all of them around the same time. This way I have a variety to work on and can start new books when I’m done. Also, if I hit a spot in a book that takes time to process, I have others to fill the gap.
5. Enjoy your local library. If you want to get everybody excited about reading, go to the library!! You can get books (of course), enjoy story time, and connect with other people. It’s a great place to meet fellow homeschoolers and most of the librarians are just too sweet. You should ask about the 1,000 Books before kindergarten and other reading challenges at your local library.
For me, I love the three week turn around. It challenges me to get this book read and returned before I get late fees.
Books are a roadway to information and information is a roadway to success!! Working on our reading habit has helped me read more books than ever.
How do you spend your reading time? Do you need help with your reading habit? Talk to me about reading below in the comments.