We have been struggling with reading in our house lately. For some reason both girls went from LOVING it to wanting NOTHING to do with it. Not sure why, where, what or how caused this but it has been of great concern to both Ben and I.
Today my mom brought home some big (literally) picture books and I had this idea! It was a brilliant idea and it WORKED!!!
We built a reading fort in our living room over the corner of our couch (can't quite handle the ground at this point in time). We each crawled in the fort with our LARGE books and started to read.
The little mouse, the red ripe strawberry and the big hungry bear
Cows Can't Fly
Plenty of Penguins
If you give a Mouse a cookie
The Very Hungry Catepillar
If I were to pick a book that fit Lyse and who she is to a "T" right now - I would have to pick Cows Can't Fly! She LOVED that book and honestly it was her. Why do I pick this book for her? Well not only does she see things in the world no one else notices and sees. She has an imagination like no other. The biggest reason would have to be that on the last page it shows the boy flying in the sky. Lyse has told me MANY times lately that she wished she could just flap her arms and fly in the air. She has even told me she would like to jump off house. I told her that would hurt really bad when she hit the ground and could kill her. Her reply, "Ya but between the house and the ground I would be flying." Seriously - that kid CRACKS ME UP!!! When she learned she may dying jumping off a house she then contemplated jumping off a high stool we were sitting on at the moment. I tried to tell the her the time "flying" would not be substantial and the hurt would be much worse but her desire to "fly" was very strong. She has since moved on. She has decided that next time she goes into the airplane she wants to take a parachute and jump out and then she would just be flying. I told her she would be flying in the airplane to which she replied, "It's not the same mom".
If I were to pick a book for Katy out of the books we read tonight I would have to say "Stellaluna" not because Katy reminds me of Stellaluna but more that she just LOVES that book. She read the whole thing and was so happy to be reading it. She was so excited when she saw the big book of Stellaluna and wanted it all to herself. She could hardly wait to get to that book in the pile. Katy also loved The very hungry Catepillar and Swimmy. It was fun to see her eyes light up again as she read and have FUN reading again.
The whole purpose of tonight was to have FUN in reading. The kids like the library but then when we get home with the books they have had no desire to read or even have the books read to them. There have been serious tears shed in the home over even mentioning reading baggy books.
As we read tonight the girls were loving it and I was so grateful for the fun family time we had! It has been really hard watching the sadness and tears be so associated with books and reading. If they learn to foster hate for reading it will forever be hard but if they can foster a love for it their lives will be richly blessed. I know this but helping change it is hard!
I hope Katy walked away feeling more confident in her reading cause she is doing great. It was fun to watch Katy read larger words and then stop and explain what that word meant to Lyse so that she understood what was happening as well. That happened a lot during the book Stellaluna. I was so grateful to hear her read and know she was grasping the concept of it all! It was fun to see her laughing and smiling while reading. Reading is something she REALLY struggles with and always has. Up until this year she has always said she enjoyed reading. Even with her struggles her love for it overcame the rest and you would find her trying to work her way through books. I don't know what happened but this year that changed. She no longer liked reading at all. That worried Ben and I a lot. Tonight as we finished reading and Katy was begging for more books and as each book came up she wanted to be the one to read it to us I hoped and prayed we could help put the love of books back into her heart!
Lyse has literally REFUSED any reading lately. Even if I offer to read her baggy book to her she will flat out refuse. Lyse is just stubborn enough that if she is refusing something like reading a book outloud...if I tried to force it the whole situation would just bad, bad, bad. Her teacher had suggested we tell her either read her book or go to time out and then read the book. I, however, do NOT agree with that at all. Making the book become a punishment is not going to instill love for reading. Tonight Lyse had so much fun, it really made my heart melt. At one point Lyse got really excited when we were reading "Cows Can't Fly" and practically yelled, "Hey that is "my". That is on our word wall and is one of my sight words. I didn't know that was in this book." Ben and I both chuckled a little and gave each other knowing glances and then suddenly the rest of the night Lyse was finding her sight words and telling us them. She got her reading in even if she won't touch that baggy book :) Sneaky mean parents we are I tell ya!!
I feel like tonight was an inspired and an answer to many, many prayers offered. I am hoping that over the next few weeks our "Reading Fort" can continue at least 1-2 nights a week and our family can not only grow closer together but also foster a love of reading. I know it won't be as easy in a week when I am back to work 4 nights a week but I am going to try DANG hard to have it happen at least 1 time a week!
Our night ended perfectly as we read scriptures as a family in the fort then we took down the fort and said family prayer. I am a truly blessed woman to have my beautiful family that I love so deeply. I am so grateful for these wonderful people that bless my life!!!