I’ve been meaning to put together a little post about Bug’s many notes. She’s a writing fiend these days. Lists, wipe board announcements, love letters, commandments, play money, complicated maps…she does it all. I buy the cheap copy paper by the reams because she goes through it like a forest fire.
However, the pictures for that post are all over my hard drive and it would take me a while to collect them all so I’m just going to write about what a little reader she is instead. I’m not really bragging. All first graders are great readers. I know because I volunteer in her class. They all read to me and it is ADORABLE!!! Need a cute fix? Volunteer for a junior reading program.
I thought I couldn’t squeeze volunteering into my schedule but I’m so glad I did. (It’s only one day a week for a couple of hours.) I can’t get over how cute six-year-olds are in general. They still really really want to please and they try so hard it breaks your heart. I wish I could keep them all in a bubble and protect them from the great big scary world forever.
Anyway! Back to my six year old.
Bug has this reading program at her school where they have to read twenty minutes a day for homework. That sounds like hardly any time at all, right? When I first heard about it I scoffed. We read every night! We read for hours! We are reading queens!
Well, pffft! I had myself fooled. We don’t read every night. Sometimes we fall into bed and watch Cake Boss while snuggling under the covers. Sometimes we fill our day up with errands and then end up at friend’s house late and then Bug falls asleep in the car on the way home. Sometimes I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to yell at her to brush her teeth. I don’t know where all that reading time went!!! I know we used to read regularly. It’s a mystery.
I didn’t really think much about the homework because it’s on an honor system and obviously Bug can read. It’s not like she’s falling behind in the class or anything. If anything she’s pretty smart and I wish she’d slow down sometimes. I can’t spell out words anymore to keep them secret from her and every other minute she’s asking me what random signs on the side of the road mean. What happened to my baby?!!
Then her class started this Reading Rainbow Contest thing where they have to read twenty books and write a book report for each color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). I thought, Oh, that’s nice and promptly forgot about it.
BAD MOM alert! I don’t know what happened. One minute the notice came home explaining the program and the next thing I knew her whole class was on green and we hadn’t even started red! What?!!! We Ponnays win at everything! How could this little competition sneak under my nose like that?!!
So we’ve been playing catch up. It did not go well at first. Reading turned into a chore and it was NOT fun anymore. We had timers and stacks of books, a special reading area… The pressure was not good. I was making Bug sound out every word and wouldn’t you know it, Reading Time turned into Crying Time. Fail, fail Sad Panda Fail Whale.
Part of the problem is I don’t like to buy those flimsy little level one readers. I like to buy big fat pretty hardback books. Bug has a beautiful collection of pretty books. But they are all on the long side and they have big words. No wonder her classmates were leaving her in the dust. Our one book was the equivalent to five of their little flippy paperback books.
I learned this when we were at Bethany’s this past week. Annalie has a huge collection of the thin paperback level one readers. I discovered them when I was organizing her little sister’s room because now that Annalie has moved onto more difficult books the easy books are going into her little sister’s room. I grabbed a few and let Bug read them. She FLEW through them! Seriously. Easy Peasy!!!
Why do I have to be such a book snob who refuses to buy paperback kids books? I’m going to have to put aside aesthetics and just start buying them or let the relatives know that’s what Bug needs for birthdays and Christmas from now on because this is where the reading time is at. No more tears. Just make reading easier! She’ll get to the long hard books soon enough.
We borrowed about five thousand books from Bethany and we are slowing making it through the orange page of the Reading Rainbow contest. I don’t know if we’ll ever catch up to the other kids, they’re pretty far ahead, but we’re trying. And at least I’m learning. One of these year’s I’ll figure out how to follow directions.