The Great Escape :: Cultivating a Love of Reading

There is no better time to delve into a good book than a moment of free time and a need to relax or escape. I’ve always loved reading and can remember the first chapter books my teachers would read aloud to the class. Second and third-grade teachers have a magical way of introducing voices and inflection to paint character personalities and allow stories to come alive. It is a deep desire that my children develop the same love of learning and reading that can carry them throughout their lives.

Education at Home, A New Reality

Especially, in light of our current homeschooling situation, I find myself trying to come up with ways to unplug the kids. I’m thankful for all the work the teachers are doing to organize and instruct the kids on Google Classroom, Zoom, Lexia, iReady, Zearn…. the list goes on. But I’m also exhausted from the computer work and less-than-thrilled about all the screen time. I’m also balancing, like most working parents, the relief I find when to get things done when the kids are allowed to spend time on their iPad, Xbox, etc. Sometimes it’s just so nice to have peace and quiet!

After four complete weeks of social distancing, I decided last week that I was going to start a running list of accomplishments for our family. One day I will want to look back on this time and be thankful that we were able to achieve so much. And reading was at the top of my list!

A Reading Routine

Let the reading begin! Our new daily routine consists of the required computer-based school work and then as many “unplugged” activities as possible! In line with baking, playing outside, and riding bikes, we are tackling some new age-appropriate chapter books as a team. My oldest (fourth grade) is plowing through my vintage set of Babysitter’s Club books, thanks to my mom who has thankfully held onto a few boxes of books and memorabilia from our childhood. The younger two (second grade and PreK) are sitting with me for one to chapters a day while I read aloud and encourage them to read small portions of words that they can handle. Mostly, I want them to fall in love with following a story and using their imagination to visualize the silly characters in Judy Blume’s SuperFudge (also found in the vintage book box)!

Lists Make Everyone Feel Happy

Ok maybe not everyone, but lists sure make me feel accomplished! After we finish each book, starting now and throughout the summer, I am going to ask the kids to log them so that we can look back and see how far we have come! In my mind, I halfway feel like we’re delving into summer anyway, so it might as well be the start of our summer reading program. I have a few ideas of some of my favorites (Pippi Longstocking, Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows) but would love to gather some more book ideas from other book worms that are age-appropriate for a five-year-old and seven-year-old. Feel free to drop ideas below!

Stay safe, unplug often, and let your imagination take you away!

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneurial mom, Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining an active extracurricular life including teaching dance, volunteering, and instructing a digital marketing class at UNO. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, and step-son Luke. With a growing family (baby number 4 is on the way this summer) and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next get-away with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very-funny people. You can learn more about her here.

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