Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reviewing Our Reading Goals

Has a month already passed since our family set some reading goals? I really need to stop blinking, or I'm going to find my babies in college before I know it. Go Sundevils! ASU, ASU, ASU! Go Sundevils! Yup, total brainwashing so they know where to acquire their higher education.

Let's take a look at how we did with each goal:

Library visits once a week -
The first week we tried to go on a Friday. A very eager Ian, Laurel and I arrived at 11:00, positive the library would be open by then. Ho, ho, NO! Denied! Our sad city is having financial troubles, the citizens voted down a proposed property tax, and now things are being cut back or eliminated. Friday's library hours are 1-5. We ended up going to a playground, having lunch and then going home for naps. Saturday was the Highland Games, and believe it or not, the library is closed on Sundays. We did plan accordingly, and made it to the library the second week. The third week, both kiddies had bad colds and I chose to not infect the world outside our home. The fourth week, BONUS, Paul (a.k.a. Daddy) went with us - YIPPEE! So, am I disappointed in not making it to the library once a week, yes. However, the unexpected happens and you have to be flexible. We did make it twice in a month's time, and that's a huge improvement over not making it at all for months. I want to still try and make it there once a week, but if other things come up, that's ok too.

Reading bedtime books to Laurel earlier, rather than waiting until we are about to put her to bed-
Interesting thing happened, I started reading books to her while Ian was still getting his diaper changed, pajamas on, teeth brushed, etc. We decided she could stay and read books with Ian and us if she didn't get too whiny, wiggly, or showing other signs that she was ready to go to sleep. So of course, she was suddenly able to stay up through at least one of the books we were reading to Ian. Needless to say, Laurel's reading lots of books at night with us, a very good thing indeed!

Rereading Jim Trelease's book, The Read-Aloud Handbook-
I thought I would be checking this book out at the library. After my frustration with the library not being open, I went ahead and bought the book. I'm so glad I did! He has research to back the importance of reading aloud to children of all ages from birth until, well, death. Why do I like this book so much? The author says it himself: This book is not about raising precocious children. It's about raising children in love with print who want to keep on reading long after they graduate.

Do I believe reading aloud to my children will help them achieve more in their lives? Absolutely! They may not end up having the highest paying jobs, but they will most likely be lifelong readers, and in my opinion, there is no greater treasure to be found!

I am happy with the results of our goal setting this month. We are definitely reading more. I've stolen some ideas from others. During meals, I read to Ian and Laurel. This seems to really benefit Laurel, who has a difficult time sitting still when reading longer picture books. But when strapped in her highchair and busy chewing, she is able to look, listen, and discuss (you know, in wonderful babble tones) longer books with Ian and me.

We've also come across some books that we love:

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell/Patrick Benson
A story depicting how three owlets react differently when their mother is late getting back to the nest.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A young boy wakes and finds snow has fallen. The storyline follows his play throughout the day: creating a snowman and snow angels, experimenting with different footprints, trying out a snowball fight with older boys, utilizing a stick to knock snow out of a tree, and finally trying to save a snow ball in his pocket.

Tuesday by David Wiesner
Almost completely wordless, this book encourages tons of dialog between readers. The beginning pictures depicts startled frogs as they float skyward on their lily pads and head towards a neighborhood in the night. Following illustrations are of the frogs interacting with some of the residents in the wee hours of the morning.

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
Mouse is Rabbit's friend. This book is also mostly wordless. Rabbit means well, but tends to get into trouble. When trying to help fly Mouse in an airplane, the plane ends up in a tree. Rabbit finds and stacks several different animals in the attempt of rescuing the plane. Of course, things don't work out exactly as planned.

Thank you Jennifer for setting up this month's reading goal activity. My family is definitely reaping the rewards!


Anonymous said...

So sad about your library's reduced hours! We read Owl Babies during the challenge as well, and my daughter LOVED it! I am going to find some of the others you mentioned as well. Have a great weekend!

Jennifer said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I need to go to the library with more frequency, too. Having those new preschooler books around is a good thing, and it's been a few weeks since I've been as well.

In my old town, the hours were really bad--1 - 5 on Fridays AND Mondays, and with an afternoon napper, we couldn't go either of those days. My current library is open by ten every day except for one, I think.

Damselfly said...

Hey! Owl Babies and Tuesday are on my wish list. Thanks for the recs! And I love your idea of making a day set aside for going to the library every week. Ian and Laurel are sure to be book lovers....

Lady M said...

Thanks for the book ideas. We have our favorites, but we're always looking to add.