As a child, I remember choosing a good book over my Nintendo, and I loved my Nintendo a lot. However, I looked forward to getting a new book from the library and cuddling up in bed, near the window. We lived near the beach, so the smell of salty beach water, a cold Vitamalt and a good book, were the perfect combination.
When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I bought Journee was a book. As she grew, I noticed she wanted nothing to do with reading. Well she's almost six and enjoys reading much more.
LET ME PICK MOMMY
In the past I ignored Journee's requests and picked the books that I wanted her to read, or felt like reading. When Beauty and The Beast was not the choice of the day, she would run off flailing arms and crying in frustration. Now, I let her choose the book even if it means I'm bored out of my natural mind. Thankfully, Dr. Seuss books are chosen most of the time now and I love them just as much as she does and "Are You My Mother is currently our favorite!"
SET THE MOOD
Once she selects the book of choice, we get all cuddled in her bed, our favorite spot. We look forward to this every night! I usually place hot chocolate or tea nearby for us to sip on. Sometimes there is a Doc McStuffins or Elsa squeezed in between us. Journee sits real close, and pulls the covers up to her neck. I wrap my arms around her and enjoy the moment. Not only is this very relaxing for me, but I really see her wind down and relax as well. The tv and phones are off and there is lot's of mommy daughter bonding time.
VOICE OVERS AND FINGER READING
Journee loves when I change my voice to match characters in her book. I'm not afraid to croak like a frog or meow like a cat to get her laughing. My Donald Duck impersonation is spot on yall! Depending on the book, the tone of my voice sets the tone for what is being conveyed. Every once in a while, I move my fingers under a word or point to it. This helps her connect what I just said with the word I pointed to. This works for sight words that I know she may not be able to sound out.
MAKE IT FUN
I've often used socks as puppets when reading. Leapfrog's Leap Reader Jr and Book Pal, as well as Disney's Electronic Reader are fun to incorporate. They give Journee more control of the reading. Personalized name books can also be fun and spark interest. Our favorite name book is by Wonderbly and called, "The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name". As if by magic, the story changes based on the letters of Journee's name.
PATIENCE AND PRAISE
I usually give Journee some praise for her efforts. If she missed a word, I correct her and say "That's okay, you're doing great but try again, keep going!" At the end, I usually tell her to keep improving and that I am proud of her for her effort. This positive approach brings positive results. After all, we can all use some encouragement and praise every so often right?
EASY TO REACH BOOKS
I put books everywhere for easy access. I keep one in the car for on the way school. There is also a bookshelf in her room at just the right height so she can grab them when she's ready.
These 6 simple steps made a difference in my child's reading interest. Remember, it takes time and nothing good comes over night! Just continue to be patient and never compare or judge your little one. Once the love for reading is there it will probably never go away.
Let me know if you've tried any of these tips or what works for you.