Juvenile Pile: Making Reading a Competition

Christopher’s 1st grade teacher wants him to be reading 30 minutes per night by second semester. As you know, we’ve been struggling with even 15 minutes over the last 6 weeks. When I read about this post about getting kids to read longer, I knew I needed to print this reading log.

It’s hard to know whether this sheet has been working or whether it’s just Dog Man. Christopher has only been reading that book for the last week or so. He’s enjoying it so much that’s he’s reading it with both Jim and me. Backing up when we alternate nights to read the full story with each of us. I’m hoping we’ll finish this week, so I can write a full review.

Meanwhile, I have been reading a couple of picture books to him on my nights. We’ll pick up another longer read aloud when he’s finished with Dog Man, so we don’t have to keep two stories in our heads from night to night.

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles sounded really cute, and it is. It’s about a man whose job is to uncork the bottles in the ocean that contain messages, and then he has to find the people they’re intended for. He’s sad because he never gets a letter. One day he finds a letter with no names attached to it, so he goes around town trying to find out who wrote it. The ending is cute – although over Christopher’s head. He was really bored by this book, but I thought it was super sweet. Although I wanted to know who wrote the letter!
4 stars

It’s been a while since we read The Day the Crayons Came Home even though we own it. That’s the bad thing about getting books from the library. I always want to read new books, although sometimes Christopher would prefer books he’s familiar with.

This book is the sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit, which I actually like more. In this book Duncan receives post cards from all of his lost and abandoned crayons. There’s some more subtle humor and a really awesome crayon house at the end. This series is really creative.
4 stars

I was really excited to read Saturday to Christopher on Friday night. It is about the excitement of the weekend – time spent with parents when they’re not working. And it’s cute, but it’s not as fun as I was hoping it would be. And Christopher didn’t seem very into it either.

I don’t know if he was just too old for this book or what. Maybe it’s better for ages 2-4? It reminded me a little of the Little Critter series in the way that the boys imagines things to be different than what they are. And the ending is adorable.

3 stars

We know Bear and Mole from Spring is Here, but we’ve never read any of the other books. I had seen All for a Dime! at BEA, and I finally got around to reserving it from the library.

In this story, Bear, Mole, and Skunk bring their favorite things – blueberries, worms, and perfume – to Market Day to sell. Bear makes a bunch of money, but the other two spend the same dime over and over again buying their own items. It’s cute. It reminded me of Christopher and his lemonade stands.
3 stars

Rain School is a book I saw on The Deliberate Reader’s book of African books. It’s an interesting story about children in Chad who have to build their school of mud and straw at the start of the school year before they’re able to attend class.

This story was over Christopher’s head, but he was interested in the idea of continents vs. countries, so we spent some time looking at maps on Google on my phone after reading.
3 stars

I posted earlier this week about Grace for President. I read it again with Christopher on Tuesday night, and he enjoyed it again. He was most interested in looking at the pictures of all of the presidents on the first page, and I had to pull up the list of Google and read the names out to him in order.

We talked a little about Hillary Clinton running for president, and he doesn’t want her to win although he couldn’t articulate why. Haha. Probably all our negative talk from back when Bernie Sanders was running in the primary.
4 stars

What did you kids read this week? Do they have to read nightly for school?

On the blog last year…

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  1. Our little bug is in first grade too. I'll have to keep my eye out for Grace for President, that sound interesting.

    If your library or school offers Tumblebooks that might be a way to get more reading time in. Little Bug like to listen to the books while I work on dinner. Enemy Pie and the Lima Bean Monster are two of her favorites.

    I also have a monthly Tumblebooks books club if you'd like to check it out: http://books.thetechchef.net/september-tumblebooks-book-club-for-kids/

  2. 30 minutes a night for a first grader? I know the more reading the better, but that seems a little high to me. I asked my fourth graders to read an hour a week, averaging out to ten minutes a night if they wanted to do it little by little. Of course, they had more homework from other subjects than Christopher probably has. I always found that the book was the key to get kids to read. If they have the right book, then completing a reading requirement is no problem. Sounds like you've found some good ones that make Christopher want to explore some new topics. I hope you can find plenty more to keep him intrigued. Reading with kids is so much fun! šŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! He's supposed to read 10 minutes per night right now, but I know it's going to go up as the year progresses. I think technically, our reading to him counts too, but I don't count it. Since he can read so well already, I want him to do the minutes. We still read about equal or sometimes more time to him than he does to us. Needless to say, bedtime takes a lot longer now. šŸ™‚

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