By Susan Spelic
It’s after school. Pick-up at the school gate wasn’t too horrendous. It is your quieter day- no after school activities today, with it being a Wednesday.
Gus is 5 years old and has three extra-curricular activities every week. To enable school pick-up, you work four days a week but over five days. You have a toddler in day care and you wonder if the cogs of the chaotic ‘mother-wheel’ will ever stop turning.
As a good mum, you want to do the right things by your family. Eating healthy means being extremely organised and making time for proper meal preparation. You stop at the local supermarket to grab the necessities. After unpacking the shopping, you check the time; only 30 mins to rustle up a decent dinner.
Homemade chicken parmigiana and a tossed green salad. ‘Not bad!’ you smile. You sit down, before your partner gets home from work and you watch as your little ones either, eat their dinner with gusto or, turn up their noses at it. Tonight, it’s the latter. SIGH!
You host a brief internal debate about whether to battle with your kids to eat something on their plate or, to just let them slide off their booster seats and run off and play. You choose the latter. SIGH!
You remember you still need to do ‘home reading’ with Gus but he has just run off to play on his iPad. Last week, his class teacher advised that you need to practice Gus’ reading stamina and aim for reading independence for longer than just five minutes. ‘How?’ you ask. The teacher suggested that you model the act of ‘purposeful and enjoyable reading as an adult, in front of your child.’
Gus has commented that his friends read ‘chapter books’ but he can’t read them yet. He doesn’t want to read ‘baby books’. If only you had engaging eBooks for your child- say, a ‘super cool chapter book’ for little kids. Something that he’d choose to read for something to do on his device. In an ideal world, Gus would choose to read funny stories to his little sister.
The Reading Mountain has recently published gorgeous simpler chapter books for emergent readers. Wouldn’t it be nice if your child wanted to read engaging, simple narrative stories on their device while you’re make a point of stealing a whole 15 minutes to sit down, relaxing with a coffee, to read last month’s unread magazine or your favourite blogger’s last entry?
You’d happily accept just 15 minutes of relative peace, in a heartbeat! Family members quietly reading for enjoyment? That is an appealing scenario.
Experienced Educator | Reading Advocate | Author | Director