Ds and dd havn’t been doing much reading on their own lately. I’ve been feeling guilty about this so I decided to take out some books from our resource library. Last night they sat at the kitchen counter and read aloud to me while I cleaned up. Dd went first. She is at a beginner’s stage, of course, with simplistic books. What I loved was how ds helped her when she was struggling with a word. It gave me goose bumps. Then ds read from his book, and did really well. At first he was intimidated by how many pages there were, but I encouraged him to just think about the story. There was no pressure to read the whole book that night. Then the next thing he knew he was finished! I think that he surprised himself.
Last year I made up a lot of rewards to get him reading. I had a race car chart and for every book that he read he moved his car along the track. Every three books earned him a prize from the treasure box. The chart was a useful tool at the time because it got him to read, but I want to get away from those external rewards this year. He got so focused on the prizes and not the enjoyment of the stories. I explain to ds and dd that for me the reward is the simple pleasure of reading. I want to give them that gift. The pure love of reading. Now, who’s to say that I won’t need to implement a reward strategy again at some time? Things need to be switched up once in awhile to maintain motivation. At the moment, however, my excitement for reading seems to be rubbing off.