At parent teacher conference time in conversations with parents, I recommend that my students read daily. I send books home with them and give them free access to my classroom library. I urge them to read over the summer. And yet, when I come home, I enter into x-box, and Roblox, and Star Wars the Last Republic online, and Youtube, and Regular Show. Keeping up with laundry, housework, homework, dinner, and dishes while carving out time for a conversation with my husband, I know I am guilty of creating this monster and allowing the digital, electronic behemoth to suck time and motivation from my sons. I often feel like the ultimate hypocrite. But I also know that I have the power to destroy the beast (or at least harness its evil powers and manipulate its forces towards the greater good).
Please don't misunderstand, my sons do read. I began on the right path, reading to them from birth and putting books into their hands before they could sit up on their own. They read at school, and even at home occasionally, but it is just not enough. Summer could easily become a wasteland of Minecraft and Tobuscus videos.
With that in mind, I devised a battle plan.
<Insert virtual Trumpet Fanfare here> We will participate in #Bookaday which was devised by Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer (see this link for my classroom connection of this absolutely fantastic resource for teachers).
While #Bookaday is intended for teachers to read over the summer, I have invited (challenged, commanded, whatever) my two sons to participate with me. In order to keep it motivating and not as overwhelming for them, we developed some ground rules for the summer and our participation in the challenge. One of my sons has "bought in" to this contest more than the other, but I told them that I will allow some flexibility as long as they follow these two guidelines:
1. We will read every day.
2. We will write every day about what we have read.
The boys (C.J. and P.J.) added these mutual agreements:
3. We can read anything that we choose to read.
4. We can read at any time of the day, and Mom will not give us a schedule.
Great start, and P.J. added these two for his own personal goal:
5. Books must have a minimum of 50 pages.
6. I (P.J.) will read 40 minutes every day.
C.J. had some further additions:
7. I (C.J) will read a minimum of 1 page a day.
8. Summer is not about learning anything.
To which I added:
9. We will read for at least 15 minutes each day.
10. Your reading response can be anything you want to share. Whether you write, create something, or discuss your reading- the format is up to you. But the response is not optional.
So, begrudgingly for one, we headed to the library this morning to check out our first book stacks of the week.
On the way to the library...
You can see that we have some work to do...