When it just clicks

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Reading. We’re big readers in our house. I read blogs, newspapers, books, magazines… anything really. I just love it. I always have. We’ve  been reading to Squidge since she was born. It is the only routine we’ve ever had with her. Where some of our friends would bath their kids every night to get them to wind down from the day we would read.

Squidge has been going to nursery since she was 3 yrs old. It was an excellent nursery and they worked on sounds and numbers and all the things that nurseries do these days. When she started school she was where she should be. Not advanced but also not delayed. I mean it’s reception as long as they know how to use the loo I guess we’re all ok and things will come when they come. I was shocked that halfway through reception I realized she had forgotten her alphabet. We worked on that for a week and it all came back to her. I still don’t know how or why she forgot it. Maybe it was the excitement of all the things she was learning.

Our school doesn’t believe in daily homework, she’s in Yr 1 and I think they wait until the children are in KS2.  They do encourage the kids to choose a book to bring home to read. When they finish the book they could chose another. If it took you a day or a month to finish the book it’s OK with them. When it came to her reading it was sometimes painful. Squidge would get distracted. She would be able to read a word on one page but the next page she would struggle with the.same.damn.word.  I had to stop reading with her because it wound me up too much. Wal is much better at it so he became the reading parent. Slowly, slowly she improved until one day a few months ago it just clicked and it was the most glorious moment. She’s now reading everything and anything. Her favorite books are the Rainbow Magic books. If you’ve never heard of them thank your lucky stars. Before she started reading them herself these are the books she wanted us to read to her every night. It’s always the same. Evil Jack Frost has stolen something and the  fairies (with their 2 human friends) have to get it back from the goblins. She.loves.them. Us? Not so much!

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Last night she was (apparently) having a hard time falling asleep so she started to read a book I’d left on her bedside table. At almost 9 o’clock she was still up… reading. I didn’t know what to do. On the one hand I want to encourage her to read. On the other hand my girl needs her sleep or she’ll be  Grumpy McGrumperson. I let her keep reading until 9 and then I went in there and put a stop to it. She protested a bit. Told me she wasn’t sleepy. I looked at her red rimmed eyes and told her to just close her eyes for a bit. If she was still awake in 30 minutes she could continue to read. She was out like a light before I left the room!

How do you walk the tightrope of encouraging them to read?

11 Comments

  1. Nicola Ridings
    May 1, 2012 /

    Brilliant post.

    I’m so glad someone else has shared how frustrating they found it whilst reading to their reception aged child. E is a year behind squidge and we are going through the exact same thing. On one page she reads the word ‘the’ then on the next page she doesnt know what it says. ARRRRGGH.

    The thought of E not liking to read gives me hives.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • May 1, 2012 /

      I agree with Nicola and yes we are going through with it to , just finished reading the after school book with 5 year old and its given me a headache , takes so long and always stressful .
      Would love for the kids to have no homework – have one in primary 1 and 2 (in Scotland so the same as reception then year one for you guys i think) and have about 30 minutes or so each night

      • Lindy
        May 1, 2012 /

        Laura- I am so thankful that they don’t push homework for KS1. Like I said they’ll be plenty of time for homework later on. We do have weekend homework so we’re not totally free.

    • Lindy
      May 1, 2012 /

      Nicola- THE!!! Oh my god that word almost made me pop a blood vessel! One time I flipped thru the entire book poking at all the THE’s and shouting THE! THE! THE! It ended in tears- hers and mine! It was NOT my best parenting moment. It was decided that Wal would be doing the reading after that.

      • kelloggsville
        May 2, 2012 /

        Popped back to read comments. I did that ‘THE THE THE’ yelling thing. Wow, I feel like a dirty secret has been lifted off my shoulders knowing others have done the same thing.

  2. kelloggsville
    May 1, 2012 /

    my friend has a daughter that would read all day and all night and it is a constant source of friction in their house. My COG won’t read (and never has) unless I nag nag nag, it is a constant source of friction in my house.

    Think I’m trying to say…….good luck, this parenting thing is hard!

    • Lindy
      May 1, 2012 /

      This parenting gig is really hard!

      Am trying to encourage so that she loves to read but not so much that she turns into your friend.

  3. May 1, 2012 /

    As you know, Flea LOVES to read and can read through a 200 page book in a weekend, without thinking about it.

    What worked for us was giving Flea her own alarm clock and bedside lamp. At bedtime we look at the numbers on the clock and agree on what time is lights out. Then I leave her to read. It’s worked pretty well for the past 9 months or so – she turns off the light at the agreed time. She also likes to read in the mornings before I get out of bed, which is a massive bonus on weekends, frankly.

    • Lindy
      May 2, 2012 /

      Oh that’s a good idea. Squidge has started to do the same on the weekends. I hear that she’s up but she’s usually puttering around in her room or reading. It’s like payback for all those early mornings/late nights up with them!

  4. Suzanne
    May 2, 2012 /

    What a fab moment when it suddenly clicks! We have had many frustrating moments like you describe and you never think they are going to get it! My 3 are all in the habit of reading before they go to sleep. I dont think it’s bad to be late if it’s a good book – I’ve certainly been know to do the same and you’re just developing a love for it.

    • Lindy
      May 2, 2012 /

      I remember staying up waaaay past my bed time reading so I’m totally understand the urge.