I’m currently reading through “Educating the Wholehearted Child” by Clay and Sally Clarkson for the second time. It is jam-packed with ideas to implement in a homeschool. I love it. I read through it last year and am re-reading it now and I have to say, it’s making much more of an impact the second time through. I’m gleaning so much from it.
So the Sally suggestion I’m sharing with you today is the idea of a reading challenge for young readers. I looooooooove this idea so much.
Abby is in first grade. She’s a great reader. But so far, she hasn’t really taken ownership of reading. She still loves to look at picture books. She loves being read to. But she’s not super motivated to pick up a book and read it for her own enjoyment yet. When I read about Clay and Sally using a reading challenge to get their kids hooked on reading by themselves, I fell in love with the idea.
Here’s what Clay and Sally write in “Educating the Whole-Hearted Child:”
“We realized early on that the first year of reading needed to be a really positive experience for our children. So we got out the poster board and made a very simple and rather crude chart with a segmented road leading to a building. Each of the 100 segments represented one book, or 30 pages of reading. We let Sarah, who was nearly seven, decide on the reward…It didn’t really matter what the reward was, just so it seemed special to the rewardee. Those reading challenges set the pace for what would become a steady run at reading. Try it!”
Well, by golly, I think we will! 🙂
How Sally’s Suggestion Is Going So Far:
We found a piece of poster board and I drew a Candy Land-ish path around it. Abby has decided she’d like to go on an overnight trip with Mom to a hotel with a swimming pool as her reward for completing her chart. Totally doable.
So far, this idea is working really well. Abby loves her chart. She’s very motivated to fill that path in. We are about two weeks into this “experiment” and I’ve noticed that she’s already started choosing longer chapter books to read. She reads aloud to her brother and stuffed animals daily. She’s taking ownership. It’s so exciting and wonderful to watch! This idea from Sally gets a big thumbs up.
**UPDATE 4/25/18: Abby is more than halfway done with her chart! I have noticed that she’s getting a little lax with filling in the chart; she’s reading way more than she’s recording. But that’s great! She’s reading a LOT now! And she’s still motivated to finish her chart, which is good…it’s just not her main focus anymore. ;)**
Have you ever tried a reading progress chart for early readers?