I took a big step back from my blog and social media over the last 2 weeks to really relax, enjoy family time, and be more present in each moment. It also gave me the chance to dig in to my huge TBR (to be read) pile! It’s amazing how many chapters I can get through in the time usually spent commenting on Facebook updates and obsessing over blog stats!
This morning, I finally got the last of the holiday treats consolidated into one tin. This freed up the big white folding table which has been held hostage under trays of sugar cookies, pecan tartlets, and chocolate dipped pretzels for 16 days (but who’s counting?) As I hauled the table back up to my bedroom and began covering it with its more customary piles of reference books, lists, post-its, journals and notebooks I had two big thoughts:
- I cannot WAIT until we get the basement finished so I can set up a REAL office.
- I am so excited to dive into this new year!
Are you making plans – big or little – for your year? When the kids headed out the door and back to school this morning, did you feel that surge of relief and excitement to straighten things out, shake them up, or search for new ideas? If so – you’re in luck, because I’ve done the legwork for you!
Let’s make this the year we make READING important! To our kids, our families, our community. And let’s make that fun and easy – not a chore, not an afterthought, not a forgotten resolution. These resources are going to do that for you!
WANT BOOKS AND CRAFTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS?
Check out No Time for Flashcards‘ super list of 25 books with crafts to match! The books are age-appropriate and easy to find at your local library, plus the crafts don’t require a master’s degree in art or a massive clean-up effort! Mark them down on your calendar now – one book a week and you’re good for half the year!!
WANT A READING EXPERIENCE THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN SHARE?
Look no further than the Family Dinner Book Club.
This wonderful collaboration by Jodie at Growing Book by Book and Sarah from Daisy at Home sets you up with a easy-to-follow plan for a family-friendly book to share, a family meal that reflects themes/elements of the book, discussion questions, and decor/crafts for your table! A new book is announced on the 15th of each month – and you can share your family’s experience with others on Facebook all month long.
WANT TO GET YOUR BOYS INTERESTED IN READING?
Check out the Book of the Month at GuysRead.com – or find book listings by topic from Outer Space to Primates to Ghosts to “Books about Repairing Shoes written in Spanish” (that one is a pretty short list) at this website dedicated to not only inspiring boys to read, but to introducing male role models who love books and literature.
You can even start your own Guys Read Field Office in your town or at your local library and report on what you and your friends like to read about.
NEED A WAY TO MOTIVATE KIDS TO READ (and log their time) EVERY DAY?
Reading Rewards is a free tracking website that can be used by teachers, book clubs, or individuals (parents/children) to track reading and provide fun rewards. parents and kids can customize rewards, avatars, and badges, review books, and share their opinions with classmates/friends safely and easily using this site. There are (of course) options for Premium paid accounts that enjoy greater functionality for schools/teachers – but the free account is truly a great choice for most people.
WANT TO READ MORE DIVERSE/MULTICULTURAL BOOKS?
Start your search by age group or topic at the official site of the We Need Diverse Books Campaign. Here you’ll find links to many websites, book lists and compilations. Check out the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website live now – and launching new content and links all the time as we prepare for the official MCCBD on January 27, 2015! There will be plenty of link-ups to book reviews with activity and extension activities by a multitude of bloggers (including yours truly) coming this month.
WANT TO BANISH THOSE OVERDUE BOOK FEES?
Keep your books in a nifty bag like this from Allison McDonald at notimeforflashcards.com
Or have your librarian show you (and the kids) how to check out e-books anywhere, anywhen!
My local library is teeny tiny – but their e-book selection is marvelous and books can be renewed remotely for no-fee, no-lost-book “library visits.”
TIRED OF JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER?
Click on over the the CYBIL award website,
where Children’s and Young Adult book bloggers (real readers with real kids, classrooms and libraries) give you the inside scoop on the best of the best! You can even subscribe to newsletters that will keep you updated on new books in your choice of categories all year long!
WANT TO BRAG ABOUT YOUR KIDS’ LOVE OF BOOKS?
Join the #shelfie revolution and post your pile of books, your bookshelf, or any fun book-themed picture instead of a #selfie.
Use and search hashtags like #amreading #raisingreaders #booklove #booktofilm #reading #kidlit or #fridayreads. I personally try to retweet all (appropriate) tweets labelled with #raisingreaders – whether it be tips, links, or pictures!
Check out this quick summation of even more twitter #litchat events and trends at the CSM.
ARE YOU SO BUSY YOU WISH BOOKS WOULD MAGICALLY ARRIVE ON YOUR DOORSTEP?
Why not go wild and get your kid a subscription from the LolliPop Book Club or Just the Right Book? A new, age-appropriate book (you can select them yourself, sign up for a series, or let staff choose based on a few preference questions) will be mailed to your reader every month – and you can often include special messages, too!
Hopefully, somewhere in this round-up, you found something that will make it easy to bring reading to the forefront in your home this year. I’d love to hear your favorite resources and inspirations, too!