Monday, July 14, 2014

Learning Together - Out of Sight, Out of Mind

So this isn't an activity so much as an encouragement about how things look at your place.

How about setting up a library for the day? We have, so many picture books but we can go too long without picking them up because they are out of sight. (We had a lot more in NZ and just brought a few over but I've added to the collection here - review books, new books, second hand - everything is welcome in our collection).

The books are kept carefully in a bookshelf, but the appeal in them, the invitation in them is in their visual-in-your-face-ness. Point in fact, the library books (which all sit in a shelf together because I can't bear having to find them from everywhere else) largely ignored. I got them out to return something and they were in a stack by the shoes - suddenly they are being flicked through and laughed over together.

So, how about for a day, week, forever - you put some inviting stacks of well loved books that have been out of sight - in sight. Pile them up on coffee tables, display a couple on the end of the dining table, how about a couple on the pillow? - any places that will catch the eye and remind you all to down tools and read together.

I set this stack up one night when the boys were sleeping and the next morning Bounce said to me, 'mama it's a book pool.' Since then they have been picked up, read, practiced on, flicked through and in use - win. :o)

I personally love the idea of displaying picture books in guttering attached to the walls but I think the landlord may not approve here... In my opinion we are never too old for picture books The Atlas will still spend an evening laughing aloud while immersed in Calvin and Hobbes and I have many old friends I return to again and again.

As a variation on this we also have had the revolving book bucket in our house.

You could also do the same with some card games - when the kids get home they may discover a stack of these on the table and a challenge to pick one and challenge a family member.

Don't discount picture books as great reading material - they can have complex concepts, great language features and complex visual language which is also an important 'reading' skill. Older children can delight younger children with reading these to them (all reading is good reading!) and they can also identify words from their own sight words/spelling words lists in the book.

Of course if they are really well known you can think about expression or even a 'can you remember the next line?' competition - get everyone's brain working!

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.

love you more than a book reading marathon xxx