Tuesday, October 25, 2016

how to help your children love reading: dogs, library day, poetry teatime, & book club for mum

When I was little, I was known as the 'bookworm.' My Bachelor's degree is in English. I teach English at the college level. I take the children to the library and utilize three library cards to be able to bring home all their treasures. I discourage the twaddle of Barbie easy readers and Berenstein bears. I encourage the fun (and non-Twaddle, in my opinion) of Elephant and Piggie, and Redwall. 
I want my children to be readers, and they are. The youngest is technically behind in her reading skills, but there are ten books in her bed at the moment. Reading is her entertainment, and the ability will come. Of course, when videos are severely limited and video games are not on their radar, it is not surprising that books become friends. 

how my kids have learned to treat books as friends
  • go to the library once a week (we try to keep library books not currently being read on a specific table- they never go into the shelves or they will be lost! ) 
  • reduce television/videos and video games to basically nothing- this means parents, too- we use dress-up, board games, music, audio books and podcasts besides playing outside when we need a little fun besides reading a book. 
  • read aloud a lot...get inspiration at read aloud revival 
  • have poetry teatimes once a week... now, my children equate a sweet treat with reading poems together- we use a stack of poetry books bought new, from library rescue sales, thrift shops, and the occasional library book. We really enjoy the 'official' Poetry Teatime Companion.  
  • do you, mum and dad, read for pleasure? gulp. Besides the constant read alouds, that are very pleasurable for me, I do not read enough for pleasure. I am trying to remedy this with books that are not quite age-appropriate for the children, but good for me. I recently have joined my very first book club of my life. We read All the Light We Cannot See last month and will continue with Love & Friendship, or Lady Susan. It feels good to read and discuss. Who knew? I really regret being in my 40s and new to book clubs.

It has been a long time since I read a book that I could not put down. I have read plenty of great works, but there was just something about Rebecca. I didn't read it for a class or a book club. I just read it. It is a masterwork. Do not start it unless you have the time to finish it. I kept coming back to it and read it as fast as I can. The book wasn't going anywhere, but I treated it like a leftover piece of pie in the fridge that someone would eat if I didn't get to it first. (this post has affiliate links- if you click and then buy something from amazon without clicking on someone else's affiliate link- I will get a tiny bit of money- I have made $10 in two years!) 

Hip Homeschool Moms


  1. Reading to children is the best way for them to become readers, combined with very limited screen time. We know this is true because the Bible itself has so many stories - we are a people who learn who we are from stories! Children crave them because they help them construct their moral landscape.
    But if allow them to read twaddle - or get their stories from bad or excessive media - this is where their stories will come from instead. Great points, especially about parents needing to limit screen time too...that's been on my heart lately. I'm afraid I'm not too good about it. Better get on it!

  2. The Bible is certainly #1- the 'Action Bible' got my son to be a fluent reader
    allowing screen time to give myself a 'break' always backfires- a bit of fresh air usually does the trick for them and they come back refreshed

  3. Yes, I had the same experience with "Rebecca." I found another Daphne du Maurier book at our library book sale - "The Scapegoat." You have to read it. I've got a stack of books by my bed that I'm working through - "From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond: The Long, Jagged Trail to a Postmodern Void" (excellent, not as heavy as it's title might indicate); "The Market Gardener;" a Frank Sheed book and the usual Agatha Christie mystery (Chesterton and I have the same guilty pleasure). Everyone in our family loves to read, even my son who took "forever" to learn to read because of his dyslexia (Tin-Tin and Redwall really helped). While we didn't have tea time poetry reading, we did do the other tactics you mentioned.

    1. my 9 year old is reading Martin the Warrior right now- it is a good book series for him- he is very sensitive, empathetic (he cried bitter tears when Thorin died in Hobbit)- the 'violence' of redwall books is good in a way- he is still upset, but he can see that they are fighting for good

    2. I'll have to find another du Maurier book....

  4. My big goal this term is to read more to my littles. I read every spare moment to my older children and I think my littles are missing out somewhat. Yes, must read more...must read more....

  5. I read "Rebecca" years ago; it's quite a story! It was adapted as a movie (1940) and on PBS's "Masterpiece Theater" in 1997.

    If you get the chance to see it, "Lady Susan" was the basis for the movie adaptation "Love & Friendship" this year. It's now available on DVD.

  6. We love poetry tea time and our son sleeps with a stack of books in his bed too! It's fun raising readers, but it's also challenging keeping them in good quality books.


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