Sunday, January 29, 2012

In LOVE with reading

February is "In LOVE with Reading" month in our home...and school.

Quite a few years ago, a homeschool mom shared with me how she would combine reading with their Valentine's Day celebration. I love to celebrate and I love to read so...what could be better than celebrating reading?  I took her idea, re-arranged it, added a few things, and made it our own tradition.

Here is how we celebrate reading in February.

Prep:  I paint a tree trunk on a poster board and cut out lots of little hearts.

I am obviously no artist, but my kids don't know that...yet...haha!

The Plan: For every book that a child reads, they get to write the name of that book on a heart and tape it to the tree.  We set a goal of reading for the month and then choose a reward.  I like to make it a combined reading goal to cultivate unity:) This year I am making the hearts go along with our color coding (blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, and red).  This way, the kids can easily find the books that they have added to our "tree".  I also let the older kids read a book to the little ones and put up a heart for them.  The idea is to read as much as possible for the whole month.  I'm not so concerned with the reading level...just want them to fall in love with reading!

Here is a picture of our reading tree in progress.  We have a goal of 200 books for the month of February.  This has truly inspired them to read...even my one who struggles.
This is the tree after the first week of the month.

Here it is after the second week of the month.

On Valentine's Day:  I read to them a short history lesson on St. Valentine and we discuss his life.  Then we have a day off of "regular" school and they get to read all morning.  They choose what book and where they want to read.  It's fun to see all the places that they come up with.  

Here are a few of their favorite reading spots that I found as I looked back through some of my pictures.

On the trampoline out back...

Under Peter's desk...

On the couch...

In bed...just before falling asleep...
In the hallway...
On the couch with Daddy...
On the couch with the baby...

In the wagon...
 And so many other places.

Later that day, I take the kids to Bookmans or Half-Priced-Books and they each get to pick out a new book.  Some years we will cook a special dinner together and decorate...some years we will go to a favorite restaurant.  During our family time just before bed, we will read 1 Corinthians 13 and discuss what love truly means.

Even after February 14th, we continue to read, read, read...until the end of the month.  The kids always reach their goal.  Maybe that says more about the prize at the end than it does their love of reading...haha.  But the goals are to cultivate a love for reading, give them a feeling of success, and foster family unity not to crack the whip and make them read. 

This year the kids choose a day trip to visit some friends that we rarely get to see.  (I sure hope they make it this year!) 

What things do you do to cultivate a love for reading in your home? 

Where are your kid's favorite reading spots?


  1. Okay, so I may really have to copy you on this. But you should be used to that by now, right? ;0) I really love this idea! Every month is I love Reading Month for me.

    1. Your funny Jamie. You can copy my good ideas if I can copy yours:) You are much more of a reader than I am. Hoping that my kids will read like you do:)

    2. Allison, I love this idea. I think we may try it!! Will let you know hoe it goes!

  2. Oh how I love this idea. We read all the time, but a I love reading month is the best! I might just have to borrow your idea as well.

    Hugs for your day,