I don’t usually make big resolutions for the new year. I’m more of a monthly/weekly/daily list maker. But I do have some literacy goals that I want to prioritize this year. Here are my four ideas, in case you’re still working on your own home literacy resolutions for 2014. (I was going to try for 14 for 2014, but I opted for keeping it realistic.)
1. Read just a bit longer every night. Our evenings are rushed. I’m sure you can relate. We don’t do screen time during the week, but our time still manages to get gobbled up with a few games of tag at the park, homework, dinner, and usually some sort of living room wrestling match. Oh, and getting to sleep early is so important. Nightly reading is always part of the schedule, but sometimes we barely squeeze in the 20 minutes. (-Required for the school reading log.) In 2014, I want to say yes more often when my kids beg for “just five more minutes” of reading time, and spend longer chunks of time engrossed in reading as a family. That may mean letting my kids sacrifice a few minutes of sleep here and there. I think they’ll survive.
2. Find more ways to hook my young readers. This is particularly true for my most difficult-to-hook reluctant reader. It’s an ever-evolving process but it’s worth it. Kids need to feel motivated to read in order to grow as readers and love reading. Some kids need a little extra help finding that motivation. Right now, we’re wrapping up this series and I’m not sure where he’ll head next. When we’re stuck for ideas, Guys Read is one of our favorite places to get unstuck. Book Love, by Melissa Taylor is another great resource to help hook a reluctant reader.
Speaking of choosing books, I want to reinforce with my kids how to pick good books. From practicing the five finger rule to encouraging them to make lists of the qualities they look for in a great book, they could use some additional tools to help them identify and decide on a book to read more efficiently. (Instead of just picking a book they’ve read a thousand times or choosing what everyone else at school is reading even if it doesn’t truly interest them.) Becky Spence from This Reading Mama has a new ebook coming out this Sunday, January 12, and it’s dedicated entirely to the subject of selecting “just right” books. I got a sneak peek and believe me, it’s chock full of great ideas. If book selection is an issue for your kids, you must check it out!
3.Teach my kids to work smarter, not harder. I need to pay more attention to how my kids learn best, and encourage them to grow as readers and writers, (and learners in general), through activities geared to their learning styles. For example, my artsy right-brained son has always struggled with learning to spell. Since he recently started illustrating his spelling words rather than simply reciting and writing them, he’s shown improvement. I started a Brainy Learning board on Pinterest to keep track of helpful brain-friendly learning finds. One of my favorites is Kidzmet, where you can get an in depth look at your child’s learning personality types and find activity ideas for all subjects tailored to your child’s specific learning style.
4. Focus on vocabulary building. It’s sooooo important! More on this in my next post. (Hint: It’s a party!)
What are your big literacy resolutions for 2014?
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