A few weeks ago we decided we needed unplug the electronics and spend more time reading with the kids. It's been a neat experience, though it has not happened without challenges. You would think as a homeschool family we would have enough reading in one day, but this reading is for FUN! The kids and I have finally gotten used to the new schedule. We ( at least I) look forward to it each night.
We have a loose guideline that from 6:00-8:00 there is no TV, computers, tablets or anything else that would need to be plugged in, instead we read or play. This has been a challenge for each of us in different ways. Josiah and I have struggled with this the most. For me, it seemed like a lot more work at the end of the day, when I had already spent the day schooling the kids. Josiah LOVES his tablet and taking it away to make him read or listen to us read.... not an easy task. Eden is a struggling reader, and really doesn't like to read. She has probably benefited the most from the reading time. Each night we have her read 2 or 3 books to either Larry or I, one on one. We feel like this time is crucial to her building the skills she needs to enable reading to come with less difficulty. She really seems to enjoy the individual attention, even if she has to read.
We've read through lots of little readers, and as a family we started the Little House on the Prairie series. We've already finished The Little House in the Big Woods and are half way through the Little house on the Prairie. Josiah is fascinated with the series of books. Knowing the order and title of each book in the series is important to him. It's a great series! The kids have really enjoyed the stories. Plus they wind down while we read and bed time has become easier. I've been surprise how Josiah, my usual wiggle worm, can sit and listen to the stories, Sometimes he sits upside down or side ways, but he listens. Eden draws great pictures to go along with the stories. We're going to bind them together at the end of the series in her own little art book. Titus is still a unable to sit still, but he's 2. I'm sure with more training and good examples from big brother and sister, he'll get the hang of things soon. For now, I give him a small toy to keep his hands occupied. The problem comes when he makes the sound effects to go along with the cars and trucks. :)
Typically by 6:00 we're finishing up dinner and dishes. The other night as I was running behind schedule. Titus anticipating reading time brought the book he wanted to me to read to him. Since I was still in the middle of cleaning up, I asked Josiah if he would read the book to Titus. Honestly, I wasn't sure what kind of response I was going to get. Brothers can be, well... brothers. I was pleased when Josiah agreed. They went to the couch to settle into reading. It was the cutest thing ever!!!
With moments like these, you can see why this has become my favorite time of the day. :)