I want my kids to love to be learners.
I want my kids to love books as much as I do.
The girls love to snuggle up on the couch and listen to Daddy or I read books. They'll grab stacks of 10 at a time to hear. They love going to the library and checking out books. We always have at least 50 library books at our house.
Kai can read. It's slow and hard, but she can do it. But she doesn't like to. We are learning phonics and sounding out every letter/word of the book is frustrating for her.
Friday we went to Mardel's and I was looking at all the homeschool things. I found a workbook for Reading Comprehension and I asked Kai to read a page so I could see if it would be a good one to add to our collection. She snuggled up right next to me and said she didn't want to. I asked why? I don't know I just don't want to. I told her to try. So she did, and looked up at me defeated, begging with her eyes to be able to quit. I asked why she didn't want to read. Because I don't like to. But why? Because it is slow and takes a long time? No, because it is hard and I don't like sounding out every letter. Well, if you don't keep practicing how is it going to get easier?
I let her stop. I read it to her. And I bought the book.
She ran over to the kid section to play with her brother and sister and I started thinking. At first I was discouraged and thinking I was doing something wrong. I was worried she would hate books and reading. She had to keep trying.
Then I stopped to listen to what she had told me. Why does she not like reading? "I don't like sounding out every letter." Possible Answer I'm going to explore: sight words. I looked at all the different options of learning some sight words to add to her skills. We decided on some flash cards and a Bingo game.
I stopped and thought about what I told her - you have to keep practicing or it won't get easier. I realized that statement wasn't entirely true. Doing the same thing over and over isn't the only way to make something easier. It wasn't the only way to get better. How would it get easier? To continue to learn and add to her skills.
I decided it was time to BACK OFF.
I don't need to force her to read a book on her own daily. I can continue to give her tools to learn and grow from. She can add to her skills of reading by phonics and doing sight words. She can continue to get into books by looking at the pictures and turning each page. She can learn so much by her Daddy and I snuggling up with her reading book after book.
I don't want to force her to read books. I want her first to have a strong love for books. And then when she is ready to pick them up and want to read them herself. I'll be right beside her being her biggest cheerleader!