The Illinois Reading Council started a statewide project this spring to promote reading for all Illinoisans called Illinois Reads. What they’ve done is they’ve chosen books on a variety of topics for six different age bands (from “birth to 4” to “Adult”). Many of the stories were written by Illinois authors and include Spanish-language titles and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related books.
This kind of got me thinking about how I used to spend my time before meeting my wife… Right after I got out of the Army, my best friend and I used to go to Old Chicago a couple nights a week and work on their “World Beer Tour” and some of the seasonal mini-tours they had throughout the year. Granted, Illinois Reads has nothing to do with Old Chicago’s beer tours, but the idea behind them seem similar – They both encourage you to take a break from your normal routine and try something unique.
There are only 6 books in each age band, so Bubba and I are going to venture off the path of selecting books from the library in alphabetical order (according to authors’ names) and read all the books from the “Birth to 4” and “K-2” age bands.
Feel free to join us on this little Illinois Reads “Book Tour” and let us know what you think of the books that were selected for the Illinois Reads program! We’d love to hear from you!
I’ve found that the best time of day to read to Bubba is early in the morning when he first wakes up. Bubba and I are always up by 6:30am, and the routine this summer has been to head straight to our four-seasons room right away. Once we’re there, we shut the French doors, cuddle up on the couch, and start our reading. I usually get through three or four books before he starts to squirm and wants to play with his toys.
There are definitely other times of day that work well, too, but they’re far less predictable. For example, sometimes after playing at the park he wants to just lie down and relax… which makes for a perfect time to read together. However, there are times after visiting the park that he wants to keep playing and wants nothing to do with relaxing and reading!
You might think that reading to him in bed right before he goes to sleep for the night would be ideal as well, but at just 21 months old, Bubba still sleeps in his crib (and at 6’3” and 270lbs, there’s no way I can lay down and read next to him in his bed). I’ve tried reading to him in my bed and in our guest bedroom, but he’s WAY more interested jumping on the beds than reading a book with his daddy.
And that’s why the mornings are our special time to read together – He’s always ready for a story when he wakes up in the morning!
I’ve decided that I’m going to change the way I do the “Books Read” page on this blog… My wife recently introduced me the GoodReads app (and to www.goodreads.com/), so I’m going to start utilizing it to keep track of all the books we read.
If you’ve never seen or heard of the GoodReads app, you definitely need to check it out! The app makes it super easy to keep track of all the books you’ve read and want to read – All you need to do is scan the barcode of a book with your smart phone or tablet, and it finds the book, lets you rate it, lets you write a review, etc.
I think I’m going to reserve the “Books Read” page for listing books that Bubba and I find to be particularly outstanding or useful. This will save me a bunch of time, which means I’ll have more time to read to Bubba!
Well, it’s been a while since I last posted about our journey… and the reason for that is because I felt like I failed miserably during the 4th quarter of the school year. There were many weeks that Bubba and I didn’t even step foot in the library during the months of April and May because I was so busy with work (don’t ever tell me that teachers have it easy because they only work 8:00am-3:00pm!)
It’s not that I didn’t read to Bubba, though. I still read to him every night, but the books I read him were from his stack of favorites that we keep in his bedroom and in our four-seasons room – we weren’t reading any “new” library books.
Luckily, the summer came and we got back into our routine of walking to the library together every couple days to load up his stroller with reading materials.
By the way, how come nobody ever told me that most strollers have a convenient storage area under the child’s seat?! I had been carrying all these books by hand when I could’ve had it so much easier! Oh well, just another lesson I’ve learned by trying to read every picture book in our library to my son!