yjamSo back in the day when I had high expectations as a soon to be parent, I had come across an article saying households that have 500+ books have improved academic scores?  Wow, just by having books in the home and not actually reading them could improve my children’s academic performance?!   At the time it sounded really impressive so I tucked that bit of info away and ever since I’ve been accumulating books. Here is a similar article.  (After reading that article I feel like buying a few more books for our home!)

Here I was thinking having the books at home would create little geniuses!  I didn’t have to do anything, just buy the books and build up our home library!  What I have found is that if you have books at home, kids want to read them, look through them or get someone to read to them.  Having all these little people wanting to read all these books I had to establish a reading routine to keep the reading demand in check.

Family Reading Routine

If the kids bring me a picture book, i generally stop what i am doing and read to them.  Chapter books need to be booked in during the day.  And because we Homeschool, i have times of the day set aside to read to the kids.  But our number one reading time apart from Homeschool reading time is….. BEDTIME, the worst time of the day!

Reading at this time of the day is certainly is the HARDEST for me.  Usually by this time I have no patience left, and my mind has already stopped parenting and is thinking all the others tasks I have ahead of me.   Alas, not all is lost though even if you REALLY CANT BE BOTHERED.  Its best to get them in to bed, and snuggle in alongside them and get started.  Just Do it works for reading too!


5 Reading Rules for Parents that can’t be bothered.

  1. If it is boring, stop reading.  What a waste of time and energy.  Don’t fill your kids head with rubbish writing and poor stories.  If its boring get rid of it, right out of your house.  Recycle it, burn it, compost it. 
  2. Do not read the whole book in one sitting.  15 mins max (unless you are enjoying reading time).  Keep them wanting more!  Picture books you can bang out in no time, but not those chapter books.   Don’t even feel like you have to do a chapter, it is better to do something than nothing at all.  Over many nights you can get through a few books in a year.
  3. Anything will do as a bookmark! I’m amazed what I can find to be a bookmark, hair ties, clean toilet paper.  We don’t bend pages only because pages might turn into origami masterpieces in our house. DON’T FORGET THE BOOKMARK, this is a rookie error.
  4. Now, this is a little difficult to enforce, but if you are tag team parent reading (mum reads one night, dad the other).   Come up with a “where to stop on a page rule”.  Like stopping at the finish of the first paragraph on the left page.  Otherwise, you can spend a little while going over stuff that has already been read.  Don’t waste precious time!  And don’t die on this cross if it is impossible for your better half to adhere to a new rule.  It is a little inconvenience in the scheme of things!
  5. If you can get good quality books, and set reading times,  it will pay off, because we have time constraints around bedtime reading in our house and we have mastered the get ready for bed and you will get a long story incentive.  Do the groundwork and you will be rewarded with kids washed, brushed, pyjamaed, and waiting patiently in bed for a story.

The funniest thing about my 500+ books in a household idea is it turns out I have dyslexic kids, and they struggle to read!  So 500+ books in the house have not made a difference to their ability to read, but my reading has improved.  On a serious note, 500+ books in a dyslexic house is brilliant on so many levels.  Read this post here.