Summer of reading

It’s been a busy week at Dote Central.  All the dotes have finished school for the summer – and so have I (^-^)  Lil GN and Lil C are off on their holidays and Lil D is spending her first few days of summer at nanny’s.

This summer for Lil D is a summer of reading. In amongst the fun, the play and the dancing we’re crowbarring in 10 minute segments of reading and word recognition to build her confidence and interest in reading.  Lucky you, Lil D!

These first few days I’ve been spending some time listening to her read and watching how she learns.  She’s like me – she works best when stationery is involved.  Surrounded by highlighters, scissors and checklists, being active made it fun for her.  She learns through watching and trying, so in terms of reading, activities like cutting up words, highlighting the easy from the more challenging and learning from listening and repeating are really good for her.

Rewards have been very successful too. A scratchcard points card counted down the 10 minutes of reading she racked up each day with the agreed upon goal of an ice cream sundae (on Friday) as motivation. Reading the same books to me, nanny and then papa gave her routine, confidence and reinforcement where chapter books seemed to overwhelm her.

Then genius struck.  The dote loves music.  She’s  called Lil Dancer for a reason.  Reading the lyrics of songs she likes is our newest way of squeezing in a bit more reading practice and checking off another 10 minute goal.  So far we’ve read, practiced and performed Katy Perry’s Firework and the Abba classic Mamma Mia to rapturous applause.  We read through the words together first, listen to the song then try to sing along with our words.  She loves learning together rather than all the focus being on her.  And it works.  She’s worked hard at it and for much longer than the 10 minutes she needs to count towards her reward.  She took so much pleasure in reaching her goal and making her sundae as indulgent as she could.  Our summer of reading looks promising.

And to build on what we’ve started I’ve made up a few reading packs to be sent to her house this week.  Not only can I give her the joy of mail but each pack has a sound for the day to practice, a song to read and a postcard explaining what she needs to do.  I’ll mix it up a bit with word sorting activities and other games.  Hopefully a phone call a day can keep her on track and that by the end of the summer chapter books won’t hold so much fear.

Practice makes perfect, after all.