We’re thrilled to have Amanda O’Brien (again!) as this month’s guest blogger to talk about what her reading routine is with her son. How about you? What is your family’s reading routine? We invite you to share it with us on Facebook!
Like every parent I know, I am busy. I’m a single mom of a 4-year-old boy, I have multiple jobs, and I have a dog who needs caring for. I have a house that needs cleaning, laundry that needs doing, dinner that needs making, and a lawn that is possibly trying to kill me. Not to mention, I have emails that follow me everywhere I go, daycare forms to fill out that, I think, were due last week, books I am in the middle of reading, and blog posts I am in the middle of writing.
All of those things end around 8pm, my favorite part of the day.
At 8pm I start my son’s bedtime routine. It is our extra special time to be with and take care of each other, talk about our day, and connect. Bedtime is a time we both look forward to.
We start with washing the day off our faces and brushing our teeth.
We FaceTime his dad to say goodnight. After our call, my phone is turned off.
Our Reading Routine
We go upstairs to bed and pick out three books to read. We’ve picked three books since I can remember and definitely since before he can remember. Sometimes, we pick books based on our day. Sometimes, we pick books that all have the same color cover, or all have the same character or theme.
Occasionally, we still get good use out of our ‘baby’ books because he can read them to me. Books with ‘A is for Apple’ etc.
Sometimes, we get stuck on the same three books. Right now, we’ve had the same three superhero books for about a week. I’m ready for a switch myself.
When we read books, we try to guess what is going to happen next, look for rhyming words, and compare things in the stories to things we have seen or done before. When we read the same books over and over (and over), we look for things in the pictures we haven’t seen before.
After we read books, we tell each other our favorite parts of the day. We talk about being grateful for all the fun things we get to do, for the people in our lives who love us, and for all the things we have.
We say our goodnights, sing our favorite three songs, and get some rest.
For me, that bedtime routine is the end of my day too. I don’t want to have anything waiting for me for ‘as soon as my son is asleep’. I want to be present with him because the chores, emails, work, and to-dos will all be there tomorrow.