Monday, December 26, 2011

Reading with Jillson

In addition to my own reading plans for 2012, I am cooking up a reading plan for Jillson and me.

For a while now I've been worried that Jillson is missing out on one-on-one reading time with her parents, since we combine story time for the girls at bedtime. I love our bedtime routine and don't want to mess with it, so if I want to read aloud with Jillson it has to happen at another time.

But when? Monday through Friday she gets home at 4pm. She is exhausted from school, and it is not as though I can ask Madelyn to take care of Bronwen while I have one-on-one time with Jills.  More often than not the time between Jillson coming home and dinner time slips away in the blink of an eye: snack time, going through the back pack, a little horsing around, and then it's time to start dinner.

Soooo... we will be carving out some time on the weekends during which we can escape into a good book together. We're starting of course with Little House.

I'm a little worried whether we'll be able to sustain the plot of a book from week to week, so maybe we'll sneak in a mid-week read here and there. We'll have to see.

We're getting a head start right now over Christmas vacation. The other day, I had the Gutsy Dad dig out a box of books from my childhood that we have been hauling around with us for ten years. (I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to finally be justifying that haul. And how lovely and comforting it is for me to see and touch and hold and smell the very books I loved as a child, that my mother held and read to me, too.)

As soon as we opened the box, Jillson saw the Little House books, snatched them up and--I kid you not--said "Oh, Mommy, Mommy, can you read this to me?" Be still my beating heart.

We've been reading a chapter a day since then, each time at Jillson's request. I love it. I absolutely love reading with her. I love the way she stares off into space and I can tell by her eyes that she is imagining it all. I love hearing the stories again myself. And I really love Garth Williams's illustrations. Man, am I in dork heaven or what?

I think that after we finish this first book we may start a notebook together. (Okay, we can call it a scrapbook.) We might just write down the title and a few sentences about how we each felt about the book.  Maybe draw some pictures? We'll have to see. Oh, the possibilities...

(Don't worry, I've got a plan for some one-on-one time with Madelyn, too.)

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