Homeschool Tuesdays are back!
To be truthful, it was a struggle to finish out the homeschooling year with my full concentration and gusto. Being super pregnant and stressed about the baby took over our world for a minute. As a result, we haven’t focused on school a whole lot around here as of late. Despite this, J has exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams in one area of “school” in particular–reading. It also happens to be my favorite area.
He began reading independently, for fun last month. It was something we could share. He would sit next to me on the couch while I held or nursed the baby and we could read near each other and talk books. Few things have felt as amazing as that development. I really wanted a way to encourage him to keep reading and maintain a level of excitement about it.
My sister share a Pin with me about a summer reading incentive program, and I encourage you all to hop over to the blog www.howdoesshe.com to grab the FREE printables.
Unfortunately, my old printer is not working well with my new computer, so it will not allow me to play. Instead, I made up some simple cards and coupons for us to use around here. They aren’t nearly as cute, but J didn’t care. As long as he gets to be the one to put the sticker on the Bingo square, he’s good.
Here’s how it works: I set age-appropriate challenges for J to complete. These include things like “Read aloud to your brother.” and “Read a book on the front porch,” or “Read a book in a secret hideout.” J then earns one sticker per completed challenge. I did have to add the rule that stickers could not overlap. This came after he tried to read a book about dogs, on my bed, during a timed 15-minute non-stop reading session in an attempt to earn 3 stickers in one-swoop.
Regardless of how much I thwart his cunning attempts to earn stickers as fast as possible, J maintains his excitement. He reads every day and has read as many as 7 level-appropriate books in a single afternoon.
A tip: We have had a hard time fulfilling the promise of allowance this summer because of money trouble, so we made prizes something he could be given immediately and that would be cheap or free. So far, he has earned a sleepover at Grandma’s without his brother and a snow cone. He still has a Redbox rental coming, and his golden ticket is for one-on-one time with either me or my husband at the local water park.
Reading is one of my life-long passions that I only hope and pray my children can share with me. It is a strong bond that ties me to my dad, sister, brother and uncle. Seeing the spark ignited in J brings a smile to my face, and it gives me hope about our next school year. Hopefully, the attitude of learning will still be hanging around this house and we can slip right back into what we need to be doing!