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I’ve mentioned before how important reading is in our house. Growing up, I didn’t love reading. I always watched my mom read but it didn’t excite me and it wasn’t a part of my daily routine. As an adult, I love reading and understand now how important it is to set a good example for my kids just like my mom did with me. Additionally, we incorporate daily reading into our after-school routine.
What does our after school reading routine look like?
When the girls get home from school they are usually pretty tired from the day. Instead of zoning out in front of screens, we use those first few minutes after school to have some quiet reading time. When they walk through the door they always tell me about their day while I prepare them a snack. Then, they grab a book of their choice and settle on the sofa and read. Peighton is expected to read 20 minutes per day by her teacher and this is a great way to get that out of the way first thing.
Typically, Peighton will grab the chapter book she’s reading and get going on that while Millie looks at a picture book. Millie is still learning to read so she enjoys looking at picture books while she waits for me to read aloud to her. Sometimes, Peighton will read aloud to Millie during this time as well. It’s really wonderful to see them engage with books together. I don’t set a timer or a required amount of time for them to read. I just want them to have an opportunity to decompress from the day with some quiet time. They usually sit and read for between 20-30 minutes before moving on to other things. Sometimes Peighton will continue reading for up to an hour if the book is that good.
Starting an after school reading routine
Starting a reading routine is really important because it sets the expectation of daily reading. When we started our reading routine there was some resistance because, if given the choice, my kids would rather watch tv or play outside than read. We eased into this routine by making it a read-aloud time. We also pair our reading time with snack time. The kids have to stop to eat so it’s a great time to sit and rest while enjoying a snack and a story.
Why is a reading routine important to me?
I want to foster a love of reading for my kiddos. I’ve noticed the more Peighton reads, the more confident she is in her reading ability. That’s really important to me. Additionally, reading aloud is an opportunity for us to spend time together. In the busyness of everyday life, taking 20 minutes to read to my kids is a great way to connect.
What are they reading?
I always let my kids pick the books they read. Did you know, 88% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they choose themselves? That makes perfect sense to me. Peighton is in fourth grade and really enjoys mystery chapter books. She’s currently reading The House on Hoarder Hill. We also are reading Harry Potter together. We usually read Harry Potter in the evening but occasionally we’ll read Harry Potter after school together.
Millie is really enjoying the How Do Dinosaurs books. We recently got How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye which is such a great social-emotional book about dealing with goodbyes. Finding Home is another book that Millie really enjoys. She loves the illustrations and I see her often thumbing through this book just for the pictures.
Reading is so important and we do our best to make it a priority in our home. Something as simple as When looking for new books to try, I recommend checking out Scholastic. They have wonderful titles that my kids love including the books mentioned here. I do have a coupon code that you can use to receive 20% off of your order: CHELSC120