Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Some people don't like to read. Or they like to read, but realize that they like to do other things more, so they don't read. Or they read, a good bit, even, but realize that there are about forty more books that they would like to read if they had the time (this is me right now!).
Even if as adults, we've decided to put reading books on the back burner, we usually don't allow our children the same luxury. If they're early readers, reading is good for them. If they are older, they probably have to read for school, whether they like it or not. Some reluctant readers need incentives. I've thought of a few. My daughter has never been a reluctant reader (she's a bookworm just like I was), but we have some practices that have encouraged her to read. Additionally, I have changed some practices that have pushed me along in reading more to my toddler, and reading more for myself. If you need help in any of these areas, read on. If you have something that has worked for you, then please leave a comment and share with all of us.
The Marble Jar--In one of my first WFMW posts, I shared about the marble jar system that we used for behavior/chore incentives around here. Since it's such an easy and effective way to keep track of something, I thought that it could be used for a reluctant reader--one marble per chapter, or perhaps one marble per book, with a reward after a certain number of marbles. I have decided that since when it comes to reading to a toddler, I'm the reluctant reader. He would sit and listen to books for much longer than I give him. So I thought that I could use the marble system in reverse for myself. If I set a minimum of 5 books per day (at least two at nap and bedtime and then some spontaneous reading when he asks), I can fill the jar with the marbles and take them out as I read. I could increase the marbles as a challenge to myself. By the way, if we are potty training, we read lots and lots of books. I don't mind the reading in that context, but I still hate potty training. . . .
Turn it off--the Gameboy, or PSP, or whatever the coolest latest hand-held gadget is called. My daughter always takes a book in the car. She does it because she likes it, but what if a child who didn't like it read in the car, instead of complaining or terrorizing siblings. . . . ? On a weekend or a holiday or snow day, she knows that after so much TV, she will be told to turn it off and do something else. Watching less TV has really helped me to meet my personal reading goals, as well. I'm still tempted to turn it on the afternoons for some downtime, but if I have a book (or forty) waiting to be read, I remind myself that I have a book waiting that I really want to read.
Listen--this is new to me, so I would love feedback from those of you who do enjoy audiobooks. I don't have any sort of daily commute, and when I'm in the car with the children I can't really focus on listening to a book, and I'm fighting for the radio, but this month I tried out audible.com. For the first three months I can download one book each month for only $7.49 a month. (Whether or not this really "counts" as reading is of no concern to me. It helps decrease the titles in my to-be-read file, so it counts in my book, yes pun intended). My library has a netlibrary lending program for downloadable audiobooks which is FREE, but doesn't support the ipod platform. Now there are some programs that you can download to get around that, such as soundtaxi, but it feels sort of slimy to me, although it is supposedly not illegal. Does anyone know more about this? Also if anyone has a book that they particularly enjoyed in the audio format, or a type of book that hasn't translated well to an audio, or tips for squeezing in more audiobooks, I'd love to hear them. I'm about 3 1/2 hours into The Worst Hard Time. That's 3 1/2 hours that I would not have spent reading, because I've listened to it on my ipod while I was cleaning house or in the car--don't worry, I can hear just fine over the spoken word. I like listening to this nonfiction book, because getting through fiction is never a problem for me. While I like non-fiction, it sometimes takes me a while, so to be able to listen to a book in a time that I can't read a book is a big incentive to "read" more of the non-fiction that I can't wait to get to.
How do you squeeze more reading into your life, for you or your kids?
Click the banner for all sorts of tips from others.
Do you want to see what else I'm reading? Check out the categories in my aStore.