Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Goals for Reading Together

Read Together starts tomorrow. The linky will be up at midnight Eastern (HERE it is), but I thought I'd go ahead and put up my own post as a reminder and to give you some ideas.

I love reading with my kids. I really do. It thrills me that they both like to read so much.

But at the core, I'm a selfish Mommy, which means that I don't read to them as much as I would like to. Amanda is such a self-motivated reader, and so I don't need to read aloud to her to keep her interested, but because we both love books, sharing books together is a natural venue that we should use to connect.

This we do -- but not enough. Since I told all of you in the guidelines to make a goal that will challenge yourselves, I am going to stretch myself as well.

  • We were reading Uglies aloud last month, but we came to a halt with that. So, since she's already read it, I am going to commit to finishing it on my own.
  • She just started The Moon by Night, by Madeleine L'Engle, which I have started as well, so I think we'll be able to finish that one this month. We both read Meet the Austins last month (click the link to read our review). It's been nice to discover that series together.
  • Pieces of Georgia is a Nutmeg selection (our state's book award). She enjoys reading them, and when I saw that this one was free verse, I thought it would be an absolute perfect read-aloud. I checked it out from the library today, and was reading the first few pages to myself, and I got excited about the poetical feel of the language.
  • Along those same lines, when I read Amy's post about The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which I've been wanting to read for ages) it struck me that it would be a perfect read-aloud as well. I have visions of snuggling up with her, both of us looking at the pictures. The concept of a picture book for older kids is intriguing, and again, fits perfectly with the idea of connecting over books.
  • I had originally put Wings on the list, but I think that the two I listed above will be better as read-alouds, so perhaps this will go on our simultaneous reading list, but I'd be surprised if I got through this in April.
  • Amanda is really enjoying Wendy Mass' books, so she's invited me to read 11 Birthdays, which I'd like to do as well.
That's a lot of reading, and it's almost a wish list, so as a bottom-line minimum I would like to finish one read aloud and be partway into another one. I'd also like to read at least one book separately but together (beyond the two that I'm partway through).

Now how will I do this?
Well for one thing I have to commit to the books that we are reading together, yet separately. Since I'm halfway through both of them, I know that I can do that, but it does involve putting aside some of my own picks.

The second way is to find new times to read aloud with Amanda. As I mentioned, I've been reading to her in the mornings as she eats breakfast and fixes her lunch. I want to keep that up, and perhaps read to her a few evenings a week (she usually reads to herself before bed).

Another way to squeeze in more time with Amanda is to find books that she, Kyle and I can all read together. We are currently reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle -- but honestly we've stalled there too. See why I need this challenge??

I'm also going to try to read The Incredible Journey to them. It is short-ish (160 pages), which is always good for a read-aloud, but I don't know if it has enough action to keep Kyle interested. Does anyone else remember this book from elementary school? I have selected it as my "dog story" pick for April's Children's Classics at 5 Minutes for Books.

I am focusing my Read Together goals on Amanda and on finding things that the three of us can read together. I will try to bump up my reading with Kyle as well, but I feel much better about those practices right now. We always read a fair amount before naptime and before bedtime.

However, since it looks like naptime is really falling by the wayside (he still needs one or two a week), I want to commit to read with him on no-nap days as well. Perhaps I'll read with him even longer on a no-nap day.


Link up your goals for April this week. Read the introduction post if you need more info.

Feel free to grab the big button from the original Read Together post to use in your own post, or you can use this smaller one. You can put it in your sidebar as well as a reminder that you are committing to Read Together this month.

<a href="http://jennifersnapshot.blogspot.com/2009/03/read-together-2009.html"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eJOWpbJ4HeY/RnXWxKc6kFI/AAAAAAAAAZc/7rJOke8EgIk/s320/RTside3.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5077200295037669458" border="0" /></a>

You can follow me on twitter @jenndon or subscribe to my feed. Tag your #ReadTogether tweets and search for the topic.


Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great goals, Jennifer. And I'm impressed with how many books you hope/plan to read with Amanda (either out loud or together-but-separate). I've been curious about the Hugo Cabret book, so I'll look forward to your thoughts, and Amanda's too.

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

I had never really thought about the importance of connecting this way as your kids get older and reading the same books as they are. I definitely want to keep that going as my son grows up.

Thank you!!

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