I did the breakfast dishes this morning to the sounded-out words of I Broke My Trunk. I have to say, there is really nothing better than a kid who has just learned to read independently. My son is so darned proud of himself.
My kids have both been early readers, and I’ve had a few other parents ask for the secret. How do you get your kids to read?
Really, I think it’s a matter of aptitude. Some kids pick up ice skating quickly, or painting, or long division. Mine happen to be good with language. Thank God, because they’re never going to make the NHL.
Having said that, there are a few ways we make reading appealing around the Kyi house…
- We read in the afternoon. Evenings are great for bedtime stories, but the kids are tired. They have no patience for sounding out words or identifying letters. They want to hear a story and go to sleep. And I want to read a story and go have a glass of wine. So afternoon reading is a must.
- Reading doesn’t happen only in books. I write secret messages, scavenger hunts, and love notes. We play games in the car… Min calls out a letter, my son thinks of a word that starts with that letter, and my daughter spells it backwards. They think it’s fun. (I know. They’re weird.)
- You’re allowed to stay up half an hour later if you’re looking at books. You’re not allowed out of bed, you’re not allowed to play with toys, but you’re allowed to leave the light on and read. That’s a pretty good deal when you’re five.
Those are my secrets. Now, if anyone can offer advice on how to teach my daughter (or my husband for that matter) that brown pants do not go with grey shirts, I’m all ears.