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Tips and tricks to get kids to read?

standard July 20, 2010 70 responses

C is at that awesome age when she’s just on the verge of figuring out how to read. She can sound out some words and recognize others and she’s starting to see letters everywhere and is itching to finally know what they say.

It’s so exciting for me, as an avid reader, to watch this happen. It’s almost like watching her get ready to take her first steps, but even better, because I know the world that is about to open up to her and I can’t wait to welcome her into it. (Learning to walk is pretty cool, but it caused a ton more work for me, this is just causing me joy.)

She may be excited at the prospect of learning to read, but she is after all my daughter, so she’s not exactly champing at the bit to practice her reading. That I have to sneak in.

We get all cozy on the couch together and I pull out a favorite book or two. I start reading, letting her fill in the blanks from memory as we always do, and then, completely nonchalant, I pause in an unexpected place.

“What’s that word start with?” I prompt, then wait while she starts to sound off the word.

Before she even realizes it she’s read the word and I’m off again with the story.

It’s another giveaway! 

At the beginning of last week we discussed where we like to read. Then we gave some thought to who we like to read with. Now let’s chat for a minute about those who don’t particularly like to read and how we can help them.

VTech and I would like to give away another V.Reader and book cartridge to one of you lucky readers. (Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s giveaway.) All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your best tips and tricks for getting your kids to read (this summer or any time!).

I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, July 23rd. On that day I’ll also be picking my favorite 5 comments and submitting them for consideration for “The Ultimate Tip List for Encouraging Our Kids to Read!” VTech will select 20 tips from those submitted by all the campaign bloggers to include in the list. The writer of one of the tips selected will win a Grand Prize – one V.Reader and three animated storybook cartridges.

So get creating and get commenting! What do you do to get your kids to read?

The winner of last week’s giveaway is… Number 43! Congratulations Chisum’s Crew!

Two cousins happily VReading.

(Full disclaimer. I am being compensated and have received a V.Reader for this campaign. Nevertheless, all thoughts and opinions contained in this post and all other VTech V.Reader posts are and will be my own.)

Updated to add:
Congratulations to Scarlette10 (#24) for winning the V.Reader! Thank you to everyone else who entered! Stay tuned to see whose Tips&Tricks get submitted for the grand prize!

Family Reading Night?

standard July 15, 2010 53 responses

I didn’t marry a reader. I married a musician. I married a man who loves to travel. I married a man who, in facts, loves many, many things, but reading is not high on that list. My girls on the other hand are turning into voracious readers like me.

I’ve always done my best to model good reading behavior by reading around them when I can. At least that’s what I tell myself when I steal a moment with a book.

Thanks to the VTech V.Reader campaign I’m going to take that a step further (and I don’t just mean by letting go of any existing guilt I feel when I read when my girls are around.) by instigating a Family Reading Night. One night in the next week or so, after dinner, we’re all going to gather in the living room, each with our own books, and we’re going to read.

Sure, it’s not going to be the easiest thing to organize, what with the husband who doesn’t really read and the children who are still too young to read, but with two V.Readers and a few magazines I think we can make it work. I doubt we’ll last longer than 10 minutes on our first night, but maybe, just maybe, with a little perseverance and practice, we’ll become one of those families that sit together and read in companionable silence. After all, as two people commented on my last post, it’s all about the company you read with, not really where or what you read.

I love to read. It’s a huge part of my life and nothing would make me happier than transmitting that love to my girls. Especially if I can do it while indulging myself a little at the same time!

But wait! There’s more! There’s a giveaway!
I only very rarely do this on this blog (In fact, this might be a first!), but VTech and I would like to offer one of you lucky readers a V.Reader of your very own. (Well, you might have to share with your children… but that’s up to you!) To enter just leave a comment below telling us if your family ever reads together, if you would like this to be the case, if you’ll maybe try to establish a Family Reading Night of your own. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, July 19th. (That’s this Monday!)

Thank you to all who entered! The winner has been chosen and a second V.Reader giveaway has been posted! 

Ending the day lost in a book

standard July 14, 2010 3 responses

At the end of a long day – no matter how long – I always climb into bed with a book in hand. I dim the lights down low and scootch down into my bed. I pull up the pillow and the blankets so that I’m covered by plush and softness on all sides. Then I crack open my book and read until my eyes drift closed.

Ending the day lost in a book is my favorite way to fall asleep. Even after an insane day spent running around tending to a million responsibilities this quiet moment is a pearl that I treasure.

Neither of my girls are old enough to read themselves to sleep, but they are old enough to also treasure a cozy reading spot. In fact, their favorite is the corner of the couch, where they often find me working away on my computer.

They’ll grab a book, anything handy, and climb up besides me.

“Read it!” They beg, pushing the laptop away, and when time permits I’m more than happy to comply. I put the computer down and get cozy, deep into the overstuffed couch cushions. I pull the child close to me, tucking her under my arm, and I open the book. There, together, we dive into the book and travel into the world created by the author.

This post has been sponsored by VTech in honor of the launch of the awesome V.Reader. (Review coming soon on The Lemonade Stand.) The theme of the week was “Favorite Reading Spots.” It wasn’t hard for me to come up with ours, but I’d love to know about yours! Where do you and your children like to read? Is it conventional like me, or a bit more out of the ordinary?

Stay tuned for more VTech and V.Reader inspired posts over the next few weeks! And join the VTech Summer Reading Pledge! You could win a V.Reader of your own!

(Full disclaimer. I am being compensated and have received a V.Reader for this campaign. Nevertheless, all thoughts and opinions contained in this post and all other VTech V.Reader posts are and will be my own.)