My second grader has recently become very interested in reading on her own, even turning down movie time to finish a book she’d been desperate to finish for a while. It has brought me a deep sense of joy watching her love for books blossom, remembering the stories that hold such a strong place in my heart as companions through my childhood. I can only hope the same for my girl. But I’ve also felt a little sad, acknowledging that life and the responsibilities of adulthood have taken away some of the joy of reading for me. I do so much reading to gather information, but it feels like I don’t have the capacity at the end of each day to read for pleasure.
These two realities – my girl’s and mine – got me thinking. What if we started 2022 with a resolution to read more?
Our quest to read more, and to track what we’ve read, doesn’t have to be complicated. And it won’t be. I’m simply going to make 2 blank lists for us to each track our reading. Because we both struggle with perfectionism, we aren’t going to set goals for a certain number of books, but the overall goal is to try and read every day. She has 20 minutes at the beginning of each school day for quiet reading, and I’m going to try to close each evening with 20 minutes of my own reading. We’re also going to continue our rhythm of family read-aloud time a few nights a week. The idea is to make our goals achievable so that we won’t get frustrated and quit early on.
The real reward, obviously, is growing my daughter’s love of reading; and for me to get back into a habit that brings me great joy. But we all need a little motivation to do things we love sometimes. For our 2022 resolution, we’ve decided to reward ourselves after we finish each book with something small. For my daughter, she’s asked that I give her a mani/pedi when she finishes the chapter book she’s reading now. That seems like a fair trade. For me, I’ll get a fancy coffee when I finish my first book of 2022. After 5 books, we’ll go on a girls’ date. We’ll go to brunch one weekend, or maybe to dinner. I’m hoping then we’ll (mostly her) be able to discuss our favorite book so far, what lessons we’ve learned, any new vocabulary word’s she’s picked up, etc. At the end of the year, we’ll tally all we’ve read and do something super fun – maybe a staycation or a girls’ weekend nearby. I want to celebrate together whatever it is we accomplish!
As previously stated, I’m laying out some rewards to help encourage us along our reading path. But the ultimate goal is to nurture the birth of reading that is burgeoning in my daughter’s hearth and to reignite that love in my own. I’m hoping it leads to growth for each of us, and also for points of connection, as we discuss what we’ve been reading and learning. Here’s to trying something new – I’m looking forward to seeing how our journey unfolds.