A few days ago CC and I were going about our normal Monday-preschool, lunch and some afternoon playtime. We had grand plans to go outside and checkout our neighbor's yard project, complete with rented tractor, and rubble/dirt galore. I try to get her interested in the outdoors daily, which is no easy task because she would rather stay in. The tractor was my hook and just as we were getting ready to venture out, the rain started. It was the kind of rain that you can see in sheets and waves as the wind blows it every which way. We stood on the porch and listened then decided to stay in. But, what to do instead?
I decided to try something that we've done before with little success.
I love to read and so does CC, she just doesn't love to give it a go on her own. When she does manage to get off my lap long enough for me to open my book it is usually short lived-like I only get one page read-short lived. I have continued to try this with her, me sitting reading my book with her next to me 'reading' hers, because I want her to see a love of reading modeled.
To make the pot a bit sweeter, I heated up some hot chocolate while she picked a stack of books to read. I wanted this to be a positive experience, after all. CC picked a nice variety of books for herself, some picture books, a magazine (with a search and find that held her attention), a collection of stories, a photo album, a picture dictionary, and a wordless book. I'm reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, in case you were wondering.
We snuggled up on the couch together, side-by-side and started reading. I don't know if it was the rain, the perfect combination of book choices, or the hot chocolate but on this day I read 6 whole pages in my book! I count that as a success both for me and for CC.
She was able to gain some stamina in her reading, see someone who genuinely loves to read, and had a positive experience. I was able to take a breath, model for my daughter how important reading is, and dive deeper into my story.
Encourage your little ones to pull up beside you while you both read. They may only last a minute, maybe even less, but it is a start. I've been trying this for over three years and felt a bit more successful today.
And, it all started because of the rain.