Well, technically our Summer has been longer than 70 hours. Thankfully. But for 70 hours this Summer Noah and I read together.
Whew! Boy am I glad its over. It’s hard work reading to a extremely mobile toddler for an hour a day but it was completely worth it. Noah and I took on our local library’s challenge this Summer to read an hour a day for ten weeks. At first an hour a day seemed daunting to me. Up until this point Noah could barely sit through a short story board book. And for the most part this is still true.
So, while she may not have the attention span for stories quite yet she is definitely interested in pictures and flipping the pages. We would just lay on the floor and look at all the pictures in her books. I would point out animals and objects repeatedly. Sometimes finding multiple books with the same animal/object in it to teach her through repetition. After a few days she was able to point out objects if I said the word and a few weeks after that she was saying the names herself. This dedicated time together each day was incredibly helpful in boosting her vocabulary.
My dream has always been for Noah to love reading as much as I do. This Summer she definitely fell in love with books and many times would choose flipping through a book over playing with her other toys. Her favorite book to flip through and look at pictures is The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. It is one of the books we use for devotional time with her and it does an excellent job of pointing every Bible story towards Jesus.
Another positive of spending 70 intentional hours reading was the 70 hours that Noah got to spend one on one with Michael Luke or me. I mean who wouldn’t want that?
Time spent laying in bed looking at books together, devotional time before bed, and lazy afternoons laying in the floor flipping through her newest books. All of these times we got to spend investing in Noah.
Through this I also discovered how awesome our local library, The Library in the Forest, is. They have an amazing children’s department and we checked out numerous books each week. I like to check books out in themes. For instance, before we went to the zoo we read animal book after animal book. This really brought the animals to life for her while we were at the zoo. I continue to do this for different events as they come up. The Library in the Forest also hosted a party at the end of the ten weeks. There were entertainers, a free lunch, and door prizes. We didn’t win anything (not that she would know anyway) but Noah did get a book for coming to the library every week this Summer.
Even though our 70 hours of Summer is officially over we are still spending time reading together. Definitely not for an hour a day every day though. Have you ever participated in a Summer reading program? I think I did one time when I was little. I can’t remember for sure though.
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