Then this whole school consolidation mess started. The plan that they want to push forward and have ready by next year closes our school and moves the students from our school to two different ones. I'm pretty sure that our school rates lowest academically out of the eleven elementary schools in our district and one of the ones we could end up at is probably ranked number 1. I have a feeling that there is going to be a huge learning gap between the two schools and therefore I have decided that I need to do the extra work now so that if we end up at the number one school my kids aren't too far behind and have an easier time catching up.
The problem is HOW to go about doing that when my kids just aren't interested. (And who knows! The gap may not be big at all but extra work right now isn't going to hurt.)
Over Christmas break I insisted that Liza bring home a chapter book from school and read it. One night after tucking them in I went back upstairs and found her quickly tucking the book away and pretending she was just laying in bed trying to fall asleep. She had been trying to read by the light of the hallway. I told her to put the book away and go to bed.
And then I realized that was a dumb thing to do. So the next day I told Liza and Jason that they could "sneak read" every night if they wanted to. We went to the library and grabbed a bunch of books that Jason would be able to read and then we found a few chapter books for Liza. I made sure they each had a flashlight in their rooms and now they sneak read every night.
In just a few short weeks Liza has become a lover of reading. She told me the other day that she thinks she has the reading fever and she had to stay up to finish a book the night before because she just HAD to know what happened!
Jason grabs a book every night on his way up to his room and he tells me in the morning about how AWESOME it was. His confidence in reading has grown so much.
I'm pretty sure that "sneak reading" is one of my most genius parenting ideas yet. The kids get excited about it and feel like they are getting away with something and my job of helping them to become better readers has been made extremely simple.
And the best part of all... there is absolutely nothing sneaky about it since I told them to do it and they often tell me on their way to bed "I'm going to sneak read this book tonight!"