Arora’s reading chart

A while ago we read a Fancy Nancy book where they celebrated the 100th day of school. And since then Arora wants everything to be 100, or 100 more.  So then I noticed it was about 100 days before Arora birthday. So we cut a big piece of our craft paper and in bubble letters wrote “Arora’s Poster”.  Arora colored the letters in then we hung it up on the wall.

We decided we would read 100 books before her birthday and each time we would write the title of the book on the poster. I thought we would read about one book per day and finish on her birthday. But I was wrong. Arora was so excited to record the books on the poster we finished in under 3 weeks. Some times arora would sit and read 10 book at a time. We started checking out our max, 50 items, from the library each week.

In the beginning I would write the title down. Then Arora started spelling each word for me. The last three books she wrote down herself. She is so proud of having her writing on the poster.

Even though we are over 100 books Arora still wants to read and right down more books. Maybe we should get her a little journal?

One funny down side to the project was Ender wanted to help and took the pencil one day and wrote all over the wall under the poster. Smart boy. Luckily it erased fairly easily.

How do you encourage your kids to read? Have you ever made a reading poster? How often do you visit your local library?

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Reading is fun

I have been meaning to announce on here for a while that Arora is reading. Really. Not just retelling books she has memorized.  She had been on the verge of reading for a while but I didn’t know how much she was just repeating what David and I had read to her. Then in the first week of October we checked out a book called Biscuit Makes a Friend by Alyssa Capucilli from our local library. I read it to her half a dozen times. Then one day I was nursing Ender and I heard her reading the book in the other room. She said almost every word right. I was fairly sure she could not have memorized it after only hearing it a few times. But maybe she had. Then a week or so later we checked out this bookGo Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley, I read it to her once, I tell you once, and then she read it back to me. She was so proud of herself. We painted her pumpkin this year with a big green monster to remember this special event. What really brought it home to me that my not-yet-three-year-old was reading was when my sister came over just after Halloween and Arora read her a book she had never seen before. At that moment I was beaming, so proud of her.  Amazed with her desire to learn and her ability to comprehend.

Since then we have had it a priority to go to the library every week. We love the librarians who do Story Time.  We check out lots of books and spend time reading everyday, multiple times a day. Most of the time I read aloud. Some times we read it together, she reads one page and I read the next. Or she will pick a few words to read throughout the book (“I know, Arora will read all the woof, quacks and Biscuits!”) Some times she reads to me, or by herself.

When she reads aloud she misses some words or replaces a word for what she thinks it will say, such as tree for three. But I do that too.  She continues to surprise me. When we were baking bread today she said “Next we need the nonfat dry milk mommy.” She read the recipe card.

So I will keep reading and keep reading, with my little Matilda.* How have you encouraged a love of reading in your children? Do you remember when you started reading?

Cultural pass

If you live in Clackamas County you can sign up for a free library card. This card is good at any library in Clackamas County. Each library has a selection of family cultural passes.  These are amazing!  There are passes to many different venues in the Portland area. Not all of the libraries have a pass for each venue, and each only has one pass for each venue. To use a cultural pass simple sign up for a day to check it out. You will have to fill out a form saying you agree to return the pass and if the pass is not returned you will be responsible for the replacement cost.

Each pass is only checked out for one day. You can pick up the pass the evening before the day you are signed up for it, one hour before the library closes. Or you can pick it up the morning you have it reserved. Be aware that some libraries open later on some day of the week. Then simply returned the pass one hour before the library closes.

We have used the pass for the Children’s Museum around 15-20 times. There is no limit how many times you can check them out. We normally will sign up for the pass again when we return it. Last summer we would go about 2-3 times a month. If we would have paid to go each time we would have spent between $300-500!

The busier libraries will have their passes reserved for weeks in advance so I suggest going to the smaller libraries for the passes.  There are about 5 libraries within 20 minutes of our home. There has never been a time when I wanted a pass and could not get one.  I just had to be willing to drive to a library we don’t usually frequent.  You can see which passes are check in and where here. Type Cultural Pass in the search bar.

Each pass will let a certain number of people in. The Children’s Museum lets in 3 people.  You need to check how many people the pass will let in before going. Also the pass should have the hours, address and phone number of the venue.  I would call ahead as many of the gardens will have different hours depending on the season.

Passes available:Rhododendron Garden, Portland Art Museum, Japanese Garden, Pittock Mansion, Chinese Garden and Children’s Museum.