Children like (and need) to read the same books over and over again. Sometimes this gets frustrating for adults and sometimes children needs to be introduced to new books that are seasonal or time relevant for an upcoming family event.
We were struggling to find a balance between the same old books day after day and new books that I felt were relevant. Children need the repetition to learn the narrative process and the memorization helps them learn to read. Wyatt is quite strong-willed and when it would come to new books, unless we'd recently been to the library, introducing something new was hard. But we came to a great compromise: A Weekly Reading Box.
The Weekly Reading Box
The box is simple. Use whatever small to medium box you've got laying around. We used an Amazon box and covered it in white paper that we use for painting. Then I let him decorate it with stickers and markers. Older children could even paint their boxes. Each Monday I fill the box with new books for the week.
Content For Your Box
Thanks to consignment sales and used book sales we have a ton of great books in Wyatt's library. From awesome nature books to spiritual and Bible-based books and classics there is so much to choose from.
You might take a minimalist approach to owning books or perhaps you prefer the library for great books (we check out new titles there first before we buy.) No matter where your books come from, a weekly reading box is a great way to rotate books and introduce new relevant titles to your child.
A Reading List for the Box
Creating a weekly reading list for the box takes little effort and only a bit of brain power. Here are some things to consider when creating your list:
- Are there holidays or special events coming up?
- Are there any life changes or new experiences you'd like to discuss with your child?
- Is there a topic you want to focus on (strangers, manners, attitude, behavior, feelings)?
- Is there a specific Bible lesson or theme you want to use?
- What books does your child really enjoy?
- Balance out fun books with learning books.
- Find some books on topics your child is currently interested in.
- You might not be thrilled about every book and neither will they, that's okay; balance.
- Pick stories/chapters from larger books. (Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter contains many stories).
- Take suggestions from your child(ren)
We are picking six books per week. Since we read two to three at nap and one or two at bedtime we are reading each title more than once (good for repetition) but we have established that all books must be read at least once by the end of the week.
If you are reading chapter books to younger children this is a good way to keep them interested by reading a chapter twice a week or rereading the same chapter for younger children if necessary.
We've been doing this for several weeks and it has worked great. Wyatt is excited to look at the box Monday morning and see what titles are there and there has been no fussing at reading time over what books he wants to pick. I feel like we are actually reading more this way than before.