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…we see or read wonderful articles from fellow momprenuers and bloggers that inspire our own experiences and thoughts.
I definitely had a “ooohhhhh…ahhhhhh” moment when I read a recent issue of Laurie Turk’s Tip Junkie about Creating Kids Book Nooks.
Don’t you just want to crawl inside with a book?
It also made me remember an article I did for the wonderful Rhythm Of The Home on-line magazine years ago involving a conversation with my Dad and the creation of our own “reading places.”
It was the Spring of 2006 and I was concerned that, in this avid-reading-family, we were blessed with a 6-year-old boy who had little interest in books. Perplexed, I called my Dad.
“Well” he said, “This isn’t an unusual problem. We’ve seen it quite a few times in our own family. Is what you need is a reading place.”
“A reading place?” I said.
“Yeah, there’s always one in every generation in our family who has a hard time reading. The only solution I can see is to build a reading place. A reading place calls the story forward and places it into the hands of the story reader. Afterwards you place it in the Book of Books as a testament to the time shared with a story. It works every time.”
“Ok dad, first I want to know who was the one in your generation who couldn’t read?
“Me” he said.
“And who is the one in my generation?”
“That would be the one I’m speaking with”. He said with much sarcasm.
In utter disbelief I said, “Me? As in me who has 4 books going at the same time?”
“Yes, that you! All of us are the youngest in our families. Why read, when one is completely surrounded by character and voice evoked storytellers? It’s time our little guy called up his own stories.”
Thinking back I remembered the barrel tunnel where I would sit and read out loud for hours. Next was the shelf my father put at the back of my closet. I always thought it was for my shoes. I read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books on that shelf with my flashlight in hand. Another favorite place was to make a huge fabric nest made out of fabric scraps in my mother’s studio.
So I had to ask, “Dad, where was your reading place?”
“There was an old fishing boat pulled up in the yard and laid on its side. There, I would sit and read. If the weather turned bad I had a canvas flap that I would pull down so I wouldn’t have to leave. In the winter I sat under the stairs.”
So with that we were off to build a few reading places of our very own.
How to build a reading place:
(Excerpt from the Spring 2010 Rhythm of the Home article)
“To call a story forward is a special thing indeed. In your story place you will want a sense of coziness and a place to curl up with a book or two.”
A standing foundation such as a table, end table, chairs, bunk beds, closet spaces, unused boats or bathtubs, a tree house or other pre-built fort.
Blankets and/or sheets
Pillows big and small
Cardboard boxes if building a box structure. Home Depot has big refrigerator boxes for free.
Long sticks if you are building a stick fort.
Connecting materials such as: duct tape, clamps, clips, and string.
There aren’t any rules on how to build your reading place. It can be permanent or moveable or a little of both. The important thing is that the readers of the family feel it is their place to go and delve into the pages of a book.
Once the reading place is built it is now time for the Reading Place Ceremony. For earlier or new readers, it’s always best to have at least one reader with them. As they become better readers, more and more time will be spent on their own.