Reading

Raising Readers

I often joke with my husband that there should be some kind of reward for ME every time one of my sons learns to read. Everyone celebrates the child, as they should, but like … as hard as it was for them, can I just maybe be honest in that IT IS JUST AS HARD FOR ME to not loose my cool when they get the word cat wrong for the 14th straight day in a row?! SHEW it is a C-H-O-R-E, let me tell you - one I am thankful for and really do love getting to witness in regards to progress. But gracious goodness was there ever a trial in patience than sitting down with a wiggly little boy trying to get them to sit down for a measly five minutes and work through a reading lesson. It is a little bit like wrangling and octopus with 27 arms.

One way we’ve eased into learning to read is to instill a love of reading at a young age.

Here are 5 ways to help raise readers and teach children to love reading:

  1. Books. Lots of Books. Everywhere. At every age. Simple enough, right? Starting young, make books the norm. Books in the bedroom, in the car, by the mantle, at the kitchen table. Having books around is literally the first step to instilling a habit of book reading as enjoying and entertaining.

  2. Go to the library! Don’t wait for your children to ask to go to the library, just do it. Make it a part of your weekly or monthly schedule. Sign up for classes and let them peruse at their own pace; Let them get a library card at a young age and fill up their own bags.

  3. Ditch the electronics. This is a constant battle, especially when places (such as the library) have them on display and preloaded with apps for kids. HOWEVER. If a child walks into a room and they have to choose between a book and a tablet, they will 9/10 choose the tablet. If a child walks into a room and there is no tablet - or xbox - or kindle - or iPhone - or computer - OR there are parameters on said electronics - then the child isn’t going to choose what’s not available :) In common areas of rest/relaxing, offer books instead of screens! Perusing pictures is just as satisfying for the non reader as diving into a 500 page novel for the thriving reader.

  4. Read aloud, often. As kids get older and more capable of reading on their own I find I have to remind myself that my fluent readers enjoy being read to, also. Almost every night when I am found reading to my preschooler, even books the olders have heard time and time again, I am left with more than just one child listening in to the bedtime stories. Sarah MacKenzie offers great monthly read aloud lists that are delivered directly to your inbox, as well as an entire list of boy-friendly books for every age group. These are great to have on hand say, in a waiting room, during snack time, while you’re waiting for dinner to finish.

  5. Let them choose content. To be honest, this is a hard one for me. I do not love reading Ninjago books aloud, nor do I really enjoy reading through insect encyclopedias. But letting children choose their areas of interest will engage your learner and give them the desire to pick up their books in passing and during down time. It’s important especially in the young and developing reader that they are not be forced to read things that are downright torturous to them. For one of my sons, reading anything unrealistic is absurd. For another, the more outrageous and impossible the better. Letting them choose gives them ownership, excitement and develops curiosity.

    *I will often check out several children’s books for my children every week. I try to find things that interest them or maybe something I’d like them to explore more to pique a new interest.

*A resource we’ve continually referred back to for reading lists and wholesome children’s series is Honey for a Child’s Heart.

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Lucy and la petite nouvelle

***Scroll to bottom for giveaway information***

This post is especially near and dear to my heart, not just as the daughter-in-law of this featured author, but also as a mom who so desires to instill a love of reading in the core of our home and hearts.  Quality books are something we are constantly looking for and we all love the ability to let our imaginations soar in an endearing series.  My talented and creative mother in law wrote and published her first book in a five part series that has captured our boys hearts and left them expectantly waiting for the next release.  It was fun to take a moment to hear where her love of reading and writing began as well as what she has to say to moms who are hoping to encourage a love of reading in their little ones' lives as well.  Read the interview below and take a look at the book on Amazon!

Able to purchase on Amazon or directly from the publisher at shop.encouragebooks.com

Able to purchase on Amazon or directly from the publisher at shop.encouragebooks.com

When did your love of writing begin to take shape?  What were your favorite books growing up?  Were you always an avid reader or did that come later in life?

As an elementary student, in the school library I felt like “a kid in a candy shop”. We didn’t have books at home besides schoolbooks.  Historical biographies and mysteries were the genres that I mostly focused my attention toward.  I loved reading about historical figures such as Paul Revere, the Green Mountain Boys, Betsy Ross, and others. Literature classes in high school and college brought a much broader selection of prose, such as Cat’s Cradle, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and the Agatha Christie mysteries. I enjoyed reading books for pleasure much more than as a school requirement, but they all helped to build vocabulary, spur on imagination, and widen my horizons immensely. My love of writing began in high school when I enrolled in a creative writing class. The teacher motivated the students with her fascinating style and ability to paint pictures with words.  Writing became the outlet I needed to express my thoughts.

 What inspired Lucy and la petite nouvelle?

The Front Porch Diaries series was inspired by the many afternoons I spent sitting on the front porch of our family house, reading books and daydreaming about the future. Moving to different parts of the country because of my husband’s job advancements afforded our family a plethora of adventures, both in daily living and meeting people from all walks of life. Books continue to be of great value to me.  I love to read from new and veteran authors alike to stimulate my imagination and creativity. The first book of the Diaries series, Lucy and la petite novelle (the newcomer), comes directly from some of my childhood experiences. The setting for these books is a Midwest town in the mid-1960s. The main characters, Lucy Miller and her brother Eddie, meet new acquaintances from another country. This opportunity brings some perplexing and maturing episodes between Lucy, her school friends, and her new companion, Simone.

The second and third books of The Front Porch Diaries take Lucy and Eddie Miller and their newfound friends, Simone and Philippe, on more exciting, yet challenging adventures. Volume 2 revolves around wintertime and the Christmas holiday break, and Volume 3’s main emphasis is a two-week stay for Lucy and Simone at Grandpa and Grandma Miller’s farm. The reader will learn some simple French phrases, and discover a few historical details about the Sixties era. These books are wholesome and interesting for youngsters of all ages and are suitable chapter books for fourth through eighth grade readers.

As a mom and now beloved "Nana" to five grandchildren, what encouragement and wisdom do you have for parents in instilling a love of reading in their children?  

Early on, both my husband and I spent time reading to our young children nearly every evening. From simple Golden Books with lots of pictures and easy to understand stories to reading Value Books about character traits of famous people, as young children both our son and daughter developed a love for learning. Our daughter was an avid book enthusiast, especially as a preteen and young teenager. Our son enjoyed focusing more on hands-on projects. Not every child will develop a love for reading at the same pace or to the same level, but nurturing this gift is so much easier if adults introduce and encourage reading early in a child’s life. For children and grandchildren alike, reading not only teaches and reinforces ideas, but also enhances their learning by increasing imagination and creativity.  In play and teamwork, reading helps to develop greater focus and problem-solving ability. Reading can generate a peaceful atmosphere and transport a child’s mind to imaginative places.

In this day of electronic everything, I would encourage moms and dads to model for your children how enjoyable reading can be, and the comfort that a book brings, by curling up in your favorite chair and reading. Peruse through the books before your child reads them, and question your child about the stories afterward. You will be amazed by their creativity.  Just think what a hero you could become to your child by starting when they are little ones! Instill a love of reading for a lifetime.  

Oh, the stories they will tell!

What is your hope for readers when they pick up this series?

I hope to teach children to appreciate diverse cultures and people.  Another objective for writing these books is simply to let the reader see siblings and friends that love, support and have fun with each other despite their differences. 

 

Author Judith Grimme

Author Judith Grimme

Judith Grimme received her degree in Sociology from Colorado State University. Early memories of a relative, who served as a Catholic nun in Bolivia, as well as their own experiences serving in the mission field in such countries as Canada, Romania, Slovenia, Madagascar, Panama, and El Salvador, fueled Judith's passion for helping people learn to appreciate other cultures, a theme that runs throughout the Front Porch series.

Grimme grew up in the 1960s and 70s in a small town outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana. With farms surrounding their family home and plenty of siblings and neighbor children to play with, most of the stories in The Front Porch Diaries come directly from her childhood experiences. She intentionally depicts strong, healthy families, communities, and childhood friendships.

 

 

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