We are struggling to get our 10 year old son to read. We did all the things parents are supposed to do so that he could have a lifelong love affair with reading, but it is honestly like crawling through glue to get him to sit down and get stuck into a book.
We have tried the trips to the library. Dropped loads of cash at Readers Warehouse. Borrowed books from Moms who ‘guarantee’ he will not be able to put it down. We have focused on topics he is passionate about, read alongside him and even bribed him! I know.
So now we are getting serious and really focusing on this because I can easily tell that it makes a huge difference to his other school work and this is something I need to get right!
We have started trying out a few things at home and the first is to start a family ritual. Most evenings after supper, homework, bath and getting ready for the next day – shew – we all sit down and read for about 20 minutes. I love this as it calms everyone down to a panic. Dad has to join in as well and even the surfing magazine will do!
Children love rituals and now I can’t escape this one!
We all love board games so whenever possible it is game on after supper. This is sometimes hard to do after a long day but well worth trying to get supper done early so that we have time for this. The kids love Yhatzee which is great for maths and now we are trying out Scrabble, Pictionary, Boggle and Zingo! All lots of laughs! My boys are very enthusiastic, energetic and competitive so this isn’t as calming as reading but I am aiming for once or twice a week!
My other goal is to start a family journal where you sit with each of your children once a week and write down what is going on in their lives, what is important to them, what makes them laugh. Watch this space…………
Another good one I need to do is letter writing with my boys. I really have no excuse (beside the SA postal system), as my family live overseas and I know granny would treasure a handwritten letter. I do try to pin them down to do thank you letters after a birthday but whatsapps just seem easier. We could write a letter to granny every Sunday and enclose some artwork and declutter the house at the same time!
I guess I am learning that I need to carve time out of each day to dedicate to reading (or writing or playing games). I need to set aside a specific time rather than try to squeeze it in-between extra murals and sport. The lesson I think I need to focus on, is that reading is an important activity and deserves a spot on the schedule.