Do you know any of the common mistakes when reading to your kids? Ever wondered how to avoid them so that no-one ends up screaming or crying. If you would like to know what they are so you can avoid them, keep reading.
Creating a reading culture at home can seem like a pretty huge feat. Luckily, How to Create A Reading Culture at Home gives a few tips to get you started so that you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Common Mistakes When Reading to Your Kids and How to Avoid Them
Mistake #1: Self-Sabotaging Yourself By Waiting Till Everything is Perfect
You have read all the research on why you should create a reading culture at home and why reading aloud to your kids is important. You are now ready to help your kids fall in love with the written word. You will be their literary matchmaker. There is just one problem- you can’t seem to find the time everyday to read.
I don’t know about you but I am guilty of this mistake. I will spend hours trying to plan the perfect reading session with my kids. If I feel that I can’t execute everything perfectly then I self- sabotage. Reading to your kids should not be a task that gets sabotaged. The stakes are just too great.
How to Avoid Perfection
Ever heard the quote, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done”?
The solution to getting over the perfect reading session is simply sitting down with your kids and reading. Forget about having cups of hot chocolate and being curled up in blankets. Forget about finding the perfect book or reading in the perfect voices for each character. Your task is simple: just read for 10-15 minutes. Done is better than perfect.
Mistake #2: Inconsistency
Don’t you just hate it when you start off strong with a resolution you’ve made and then you fall off the wagon? Actually you don’t just fall off- you crash and burn. Whether we like it or not, that’s something that happens quite a bit when we make a commitment to consistently read to our kids. We may have had all the best intentions but we could never find the right time each day to read to our kids.
How to Prevent Inconsistency
There are two ways to avoid being inconsistent. You can either set a timer for the same time everyday or a specific time for each day. And when that timer goes off, read to your kids for 10-15 minutes.
Another option is to tie reading to an activity that gets done daily or frequently such as eating dinner. If you choose to go this route, then you would either read to them during dinner or read to them right after everyone is done.
Either way, make sure you have a specific plan for when you will read to your kids. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Mistake #3: Sticking to Books Just Because They Are on the List
A great book list can be a fantastic guide to choosing books for your family. However, its purpose is to serve your family and not to enslave you. If there are books on the list that your family hates then you will have a horrid read-aloud experience.
I once bought a math curriculum on the recommendation of a friend. I did my research and it seemed pretty good but I made one mistake that cost my family financially: I did not check to see if it would be a good fit for my son. While it worked perfectly for my daughter, it was horrible for Caleb.
How to Avoid Being A Slave to the List
Know what your family likes and hates as well as their personalities. Just because a friend recommends a book and said it was the greatest book and their family loved it, it doesn’t mean that it will be perfect for you. What’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.
Mistake #4: Expecting Your Smaller Kids to Stay Still During a Reading Session
Remember that perfect image you had of a reading session? Throw it away. Little kids are just that- kids. They were not built to sit for long periods as if they were mindless zombies. They will fidget, they will fart (and laugh at that fact) and they will want to interrupt a million times.
How To Avoid Losing Your Mind
Give your kids something quiet to do while you read to them. It could be as simple as coloring a page similar to the theme of the book you are reading. They could stack blocks on a carpet or even play with a few silent toys. One lesson I have learned from homeschooling my kids is that even when they seem to be distracted- they are actually listening and retaining.
Now that you know the common mistakes when reading to your kids and how to avoid them, I encourage you to set a timer today and read to your kids. Forget all images of perfection and just enjoy the cuddles and noisiness of life while you read to your kids.