It’s already mid-March and I’m behind in sharing my #FamilyChallenge for March. Our friends over at Scholastic sent a box of books over so we could participate in the 20 for 20 Family Reading Challenge. Our love for Scholastic (and their book fairs especially) is not new but I was so glad to accept the Family Reading Challenge because it has made us much more deliberate in reading as a family.
You can read more on the Scholastic website but the 20 for 20 Family Reading Challenge is so simple. It’s just reading for at least 20 minutes a day for 20 days with your child. It can be mom or dad or any adult. The whole purpose is getting your child excited and engaged in reading. I know many of read to our infants/toddlers but how much do I read to my oldest? He reads to himself probably about 45 minutes a day. I hate to admit not as much as I do the youngest and this challenge has changed that.
You can download the pledge sheet and minute log from the Scholastic right here. Because we also have a little one, I created this pledge sheet just for non-readers. He’s able to mark his own time and keep track just like his big brother but this is a more visual way for him to do it. You can download the non-reader version right here.
We’ve done a couple of different things with our aloud reading time. It’s been during the afternoon, it’s been with me and sometimes with dad. Some nights, the oldest and I each take a turn ready a page. It’s been nice to have him snuggle up with me and take the time to read his books but I’ve also been able to introduce him to a few of my choices (age appropriately of course). One of the benefits from reading aloud I found in a report from the National Association of Education for Young Children is “reading aloud can introduce books and types of literature—poetry, short stories, biographies— children might not discover on their own.” I’ve loved introducing him to special books that have been given to me and even telling him the story of who gave to them me from the inscriptions inside. The unanticipated bonus for me is that these conversations have expanded our interactions and helped him learn more about my role in the world beyond being his mother.
Our school Spring book fairs (yes, both of them!) are coming up in just a few weeks and I’m encouraging all the families who come in to take the 20 for 20 Family Reading Challenge. I’m even going to print off copies for both the readers and non-readers to make sure all families can participate in the challenge with no problems. I would love to offer it for your family as well. Just come back and let me know how it goes for your family. I’m sure you’ll find some unanticipated bonuses as well as inspiring a life-long love for reading in your children.