As I’ve mentioned, for the Read with Kids Challenge, I’ve been tracking the time I read with my 19 months old son.
Other than picture books any time of the day, I also like to read him chapter books (usually children’s). Even though he’s too young to care or follow a plot, I want to read those books, so I might as well get them read while I’m reading to a child. So each morning, I usually read him a chapter from something (10-20 minutes) while he plays with his toys or eats his breakfast.
From April 15 (when I started keeping track) until the end of April, we read 390 minutes, or an average of 26 minutes a day. I had made a 75-day goal of 2500 minutes, which is an average of 33 minutes a day. Considering reading in the morning and bedtime stories, that sounded do-able, but then I forgot to consider the days when I forget or don’t do much reading with him at all (like weekends!).
I realize now that that goal will be nearly impossible. In the past two weeks, I’ve been really pushing myself to read whenever I could and every day. But I still came up short of what I expected would be “easy.” Maybe averaging 20 minutes a day is plenty practical. My new goal is 1600 minutes by the end of June, including, of course, the 390 we did in the later half of April.
I also wonder which times I should count as reading; maybe I am “cheating.” My son doesn’t actually read, so all my time is actually “reading to a kid.” Which times would you count as “reading with kids” out of these?
- I read a chapter book to him while he plays with his toys or eats his breakfast or takes his bath.
- I read a chapter book to him while he falls asleep in my arms (he was not feeling well).
- I read him a picture book bedtime story.
- I read him two pages of a bedtime story, and then he points at the pictures and babbles as he turns the other pages.
- When I say it’s time for a bedtime story, he runs to the closet and grabs a picture book. Then he sits on the floor, turns the pages, and babbles, pushing me away if I come near. After about 30 seconds, he gets up and exchanges it for a different book. Repeat five to ten times.
I count them all, because each in its own way helps him to love reading. That is, I think, the purpose of this challenge. I’m comforted in the fact that my son loves books. But what do you think? Does reading with kids need to be interactive?
I know my son has begun to love books and reading. It’s a success so far.
An example of success: I read my son Robinson Crusoe aloud over the course of two months. I figured he was too young to notice what I was reading anyway, so why not. Now, whenever he sees that particular book on my bookshelf, he brings it to me, babbling something incomprehensible. I’m hoping he is actually saying something about his good memories of me reading to him (like maybe that day I held him when he was not feeling well, and he fell asleep as I read to him).
Another example: Yesterday morning, after I got him up and dressed, I was going to go into the other room. But my son found the copy of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle we’re reading and handed it to me, very excited.
“Do you want me to read some of it to you?” I asked.
He nodded emphatically and then headed back to his toys, turning to look back at me to see that I was starting to read. Aww, how could I not?