The final part of this three part series is by far my favorite. It also came as a complete surprise but when I tell you that if fuels the conversations AJ and I have on a daily basis I am not kidding. It has been the greatest gift of this age. Talk about utilizing the time we already spend together to the fullest!
One of the biggest things I learned while teaching, (thank you Ms. Pittman!), was that as kids start to become fluent readers (third grade and beyond) it is extremely important for them to still be read to.
Even knowing this fact, we started skipping book read ALL THE TIME. One reason for this is that AJ was picking the books and I wasn’t excited about them (honestly how excited am I supposed to be about the fifth Captain Underpants book in a row?) SO instead of book read I would let him watch a second show – which HELLO!!– he was never going to pass up.
So I came up with a rule – we could each pick one skip night a week. And then I came up with a better process for finding a book we would both like – I would find three books I thought we both might like and then he could choose one of those.
I first noticed the change this approach took one weekend when we were about finished with Hatchet and we decided to go for a hike.
For two hours we talked about the book, how different things we saw made us think of different parts of the book. What our favorite and least favorites parts of the book were and how we thought it might end. It was so much fun!
Later while reading Holes, we were stuck somewhere waiting in line when AJ commented that he was a thirsty as the boys in the book digging in the sun. What could have been a boring wait in line turned into a conversation about the camp and how terrible we thought it was. And EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to the dog park we get to rehash parts of our favorite dog books, Shiloh and Because of Winn Dixie.
Use book read before bed as a time to create lasting memories with your kid. You know you and your kid best – find books you’ll both love and enjoy returning to time and time again.
It’s best to read books two grade levels above your child’s reading level. This will help them improve their comprehension.
If you need some help finding books at the right level for your child Scholastics Book Wizard is a great place to start. Your child’s teacher can also help!
Your kiddo is growing up and it’s natural that his interests will grow with him and maybe away from your own and that is perfectly fine! You can find ways to maximize the time you spend together – such as music in the car and enjoyable book reads at night. And you can create ways for him to share in some of your favorite activities as well.