Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January READER Time

January 2016
 Follow along with us as we try to make reading more a part of our days; more a part of our lives.  If you would like to learn more about what READER Time is for us, read my original READER Time post.  And pick up some great bookmarks/reading lists there, too!
As we start this New Year, I am determined to be more purposeful with our reading lists, as well as making the time to do our reading.  So this is our READER Time plans for the month (or, well.....the rest of the month).

You'll find a lot of historical fiction on our lists this month to go along with the area of history that we are studying.  I tried to choose books that would really draw the kids in.  And I LOVE picture books!  So it was very hard to narrow down my choices for my Toddler.  I'm so very excited to start my year off with a great book that I'm hoping will encourage me in this new drive.  And Dad is hoping to take some time to pick up an old fantasy series he read years ago - he is actually the most consistent reader in the house, but he's happy to jump in on our bandwagon to read more!

Read Alouds for the whole family:
The Courage of Sarah Noble (Alice Dalgliesh)
Madeleine Takes Command (Ethel Brill)
Buttons for General Washington (Peter and Connie Roop)
The Secret Garden (Francis Hodgson Burnett)

7th grader: Ben and Me (Robert Lawson)
5th grader: Phoebe the Spy (Judith Griffin)
2nd grader: Sam the Minuteman (Nathaniel Benchley)

Toddler: (various winter picture books including, but not limited to)
The Mitten (Jan Brett)
The Hat (Jan Brett)
Gingerbread Baby (Jan Brett)
Blizzard (John Rocco)
Bear Snores On (Karma Wilson)
Skippyjon Jones Snow What (Judy Schachner)

Mom: The Reading Promise (Alice Ozma)
Dad: Wheel of Time, book 1 (Robert Jordan)


Reading is amazing!  It can whisk you away to a new world, take you on exciting adventures, and touch something deep within your heart.  Reading can also educate; it can provide you with info on any subject you choose – fact or fiction.  So whether you’re seeking to learn about George Washington, or you need help keeping track of the characters in Star Wars, reading is your answer.
Reading is fundamental to all learning that takes place beyond the days of deciphering those pesky letters into sounds, words, phrases, and sentences.  I have long been an advocate for reading.  It strengthens your mind all while sitting back and relaxing with a good book!

My desire is to foster a love of reading in each of my children.  We have acquired a large selection of books over the years through gifts, book sales, and my inability to say “no” when it comes to these little treasures.  Plus, we have a wonderful local library that we love to visit and leave with armfuls! 

However, putting this passion into action has been quite another story (pun intended J) for us the last couple of years.  Yes, we’ve been busy, but I think it’s more that we are making choices that are using up our time that could be used reading.   I know the benefits outweigh what we would be giving up.  Just the idea of pushing aside the busyness of life and snuggling up with some good books, can be benefit enough!  And what’s better than sharing a story with someone?!  Having that experience together, or even being able to chat about the shared experience of reading the same story separately can create a bond between people.  I love that!

We had been feeling a desire to change this in our home.  We want our home to be a READING ZONE!  We want our home to be filled with the stories of really great books – from picture books to novels!  If our chores go undone, I want it to be because we were snuggled up with some good books – not because we soaked up too much screen-time. 

So this is where READER Time comes in.  READER is my little acronym of encouragement!   It stands for:
Reading Everyday And Developing Excellence Reading!

How true it is!  The more we read, the better we get at reading!  We also gain knowledge, experience new worlds or exciting adventures, and glean new skills, attributes or character traits.   All of this is what I am referring to as “excellence”. 

This year as I crafted our Daily Design (our basic schedule for each day – seen here), I included READER Time to help us get started toward a lifestyle of reading more.  Our plan for now is to set aside at least 30 minutes each day for quite reading individually or read alouds together.  My children are also in the habit of reading books or listening to audio books before bed and in the morning for a bit before getting up.  So this designated READER Time is my way of being more purposeful about including reading during the rest of the day.  I am hoping it will grow from here, but this is where we will start. 

I even made these fun cards to keep track of my reading goals for myself and my children.   It’s a great place to jot down those next books you want to get to.  And it can even be used as a bookmark!  Help yourself to a set of these READER Time cards to encourage yourself or your family to read more.
You can also join me on Good Reads.  It’s a great app where you can keep track of books you want to read, books you’ve already read, or books you want to keep in mind for a future time.  It’s like digital shelves that help you organize your reading, by person or topic.  You are able to rate the books you’ve read and even leave comments, and it can be helpful to read comments about books you might be interested in.  What I love the most right now is the reading goals - I am excited to have set a goal of reading 15 books this year for myself.  It’s not a lot, but it’s more than one a month, and I think it’s a great place to start! 

Won’t you join us for READER Time?!!!