Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nap Time - A Great Way to Encourage Independent Reading!

When my oldest son was a toddler, he was a great napper. I admit, I got a little spoiled. I came to cherish the two to three hours, in the afternoon, as grown up time. It was, and is my time to complete my cleaning for the day, and then crash into a good book, some stashed away magazine, or even the latest online episode of Psych!

As the children have grown a little bit older (my oldest is now almost 12), they've grown less sleepy. That doesn't mean that we've given up on nap time. I've discovered a pleasant byproduct of the whole nap experience for my children. While they haven't been sleeping, they've been reading!

At first it was just my oldest son. Trapped in his room, for two hours every day, with a younger brother who was sleeping, he turned to the books laying around collecting dust on his bookshelves, for entertainment. Some of the same books, I'd been trying to encourage him to read at other times, but with no success. As nap time ended, and T began approaching me with, "Hey Mom, you know that book Grandma gave me for my birthday? Turns out it's really good," his younger sisters took note. Suddenly all the easy reader books began to disappear into the girls room, for nap time use. Lately, I've noticed, their tackling more, and more difficult material.

Now, instead of asking my children to read anything, I simply leave it near to their rooms. Sooner or later, it gets picked up, and devoured during their "naps". And best yet, I still get a chance to mop the floor, and read a chapter from my own book! It's great to be a homeschool mom!

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