One of my favorite things about kindergarten is the no homework policy. Well, no required homework. It seems like there are hours of optional assignments we can do (and, Big being…well, Big, he often wants to). But when it comes to reading, I’ve found five ways to sneak it into the stuff we do every day too.
#1- Sidewalk City My kids love when I create scooter racetracks, and lately I’ve been adding street signs and some of our favorite spots around town. Big loves exploring the track, sounding out the words and even got the chalk out himself to show me why “Cone Zone” rhymes.
#2- What’s For Dinner Since food is of particular interest to Big, a menu seemed fitting. I included each and every ingredient so he’d have lots of words to figure out. If he couldn’t read it, all he had to do was look at his plate for clues.
#3- Run Errands Lately when we’ve been at the grocery store or on other shopping trips, I’ll ask Big to get me the “Huggies Overnights” or the “organic black beans”. It takes a bit longer, but he’s so proud when he realizes he can find things without help.
#4- Label It I made these toy bin labels a long time ago for the playroom because I was annoyed when the kids couldn’t find anything and didn’t help clean up. Somehow it hasn’t solved either of those problems, but it has become more fun for Big to discover that he can read them.
#5- Sweet Somethings Each day I try to leave a note about something that’s special that day in Big’s lunch box. I’ve also left other little notes around the house for him to discover.
My mom used to teach elementary school and she pointed out that once you know how to read, you can’t help but read. So I figure the more words I put out there, the more Big is “practicing” reading. Now I just have to remember not to leave the laptop open…
How do you encourage your little ones to learn to read?
Amy Nelson says
I LOVE your menu idea!!! Might start doing that:>
Ha, let’s face it…I can barely make dinner most days. But it is fun if you’re organized. Which you are!
Here’s another “trick” to getting your kids reading:
(Here’s hoping your boys like bananas!)
Thinking of you,
Amy, Using Our Words says
That is awesome! Thanks for the fun idea.
Jodie Hoffman says
you know, if I were to learn a foreign language, I would totally label everything… I don’t see how it is different when learning the English language – I’ve got to get on this labeling thing pronto! I know Finn can read, but he’s not so interested in reading books… maybe I need to get him to want to read labels about his toys, etc… :)!
Amy, Using Our Words says
Ooh, I remembered another one this weekend that might be good for Finn. Big is totally into baseball and football cards. He loves reading the player/team names and the stats on the back. It’s also helping him learn a ton about the sports…which is good since he won’t be learning that from me.