Monday, November 9, 2009

Keep track of reading by Mark My Time Giveaway

During the Elementary school days of 5th grade and under my girls had to keep track of how many minutes they read out of school for various reason. Several years they competed in City-wide reading programs. Their class and school won several times with the most minutes read. Other times they had to read x amount of minutes to earn class rewards. I always encouraged them to keep track of their own minutes. This promotes responsibility and independence. It is also great for math. You have to teach about how each second turns into a minute and how each minute turns into an hour. I love how math and reading are used together.

When we started homeschooling I carried over the "read for x amount of minutes" each day. They had a log sheet where they wrote down their time as well as what book and how many pages read. This is our 4th year homeschooling and we no longer use the "read for x amount of minutes" log sheet. All three of my girls are independent readers. They have been for many years. The log was used to make sure that they gave time to reading each day. They have established early reading habits and now that habit doesn't need timed.

The joy of homeschooling is that you can read a novel for 1 hour during the school day if you choose to do so. You can go to the Library for hours at a time instead of 15 minutes once a week. Reading is like learning to ride a bicycle. With books, you start when you are young by your parents reading to you, giving you board books to look at, and books on CD to listen to during play time. This is done over and over. Your parents, siblings, teachers still read to you but you pick up the books on your own and start the reading CD on your own. Before you know it, you are saying the words in the book by memory and by word recognition. You still make up stories by looking at the picture. A time comes where you begin reading all the words around you including the ones from out the window of the car. Over time you still love being read to and still need to be read to but you begin reading to others. This is the time your training wheels get sold in the garage sale or passed down to a younger sibling.

It all starts at the beginning. Take time to foster reading habits with your children. Find out what the school is doing and carry that over into your home. If you homeschool make that a big part of your day.

If you have a kiddo who doesn't like to read then help her find a book on a subject she enjoys. If she loves dogs then find her books on dogs to read. If she loves cartoons then find books on cartoons. Does she love telling jokes? Give her new material by finding joke books. Our policy was that reading had to be done daily. Set a timer for 5 minutes and read. Then increase the timer to 10 minutes. Over time the timer will be forgotten but the reading is being done. That again goes with the learning to ride a bike analogy. The biggest thing you can do as a parent is to make sure you are reading too! Kids follow your lead. It takes time but it will happen.

Tweet For Literacy Giveaway Prize Package 2

Our Motto: “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!” Our goal is to empower children and teens, especially girls, who are so often overlooked. We also seek to teach tolerance and self-acceptance through reading and through family interaction.

The Tweet for Literacy Giveaway is a campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of involving the whole family in a child’s reading activities. Tweet for Literacy will be giving away literacy-related prizes every two days throughout the month of November in honor of National Family Literacy Month. Help a child to read, and let the fun begin!

How to Enter the Tweet for Literacy Giveaways
Step 1: Follow our 7 sponsors on Twitter. This step is required. We will all follow you back! (ME!!!)

Step 2: Re-tweet (RT) any post about the giveaway. Use the hashtag #Tweet4Lit on each RT. Be sure to add the URL link for this contest page.
Sample Entry Re-tweets (use these or use your own just make sure you include hashtag #Tweet4Lit and link to my blog )

RT @susieqtpies Tweet for Literacy is giving away 12 prize sets and a grand prize thru Nov Enter here

Step 3: That’s it! See the Official Rules below.

Prize Package Two
Winner to be chosen Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 6pm CT. Total value of Prize Package Two is $114.00.

1) Aurora of the Northern Lights by Holly Hardin (autographed -- an $18.95 value), the delightful Christmas-themed picture book by one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. Donated by the author.

2) Henry & the Crazed Chicken Pirates by Carolyn Crimi and John Manders for ages 4 to 8. ($15.99 value) This is the sequel to Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies. Donated by Blue Slip Media.

3) The Katie & Kimble chapter book series by Linda Thieman, for ages 6 to 10. Lexile® measures: 280L and 290L. This set includes Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story and Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish. These are stories of love and healing, and are not scary! Donated by the author, one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. (Value: $11.90 per set)

4) Lexi by L.S. Matthews (Grades 4-8) ($14.99). Donated by our Tweet for Literacy sponsor, Linda Thieman.

5) Mark My Time, a totally cool digital bookmark/timer
($11.90 value), donated by our Tweet for Literacy sponsor Susan Buetow.

6) Light Up Your Child’s Mind: Finding a Unique Pathway to Happiness and Success by Joseph S. Renzulli, Sally M. Reis, Andrea Thompson ($25.99 value). Donated by Hachette Book Group.

7) And a little something for Mom! The Sidewalk Artist by Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk ($13.95 value), donated by Tweet for Literacy sponsor Linda Thieman.

Check back here daily as we will continue to update the list of prizes.

Official Rules
You can re-enter as many times as you like. Prizes are awarded every 2 days starting on November 8. First day to enter is November 6, 2009. Last day to enter is November 30. A prize package will be awarded on each even day of the month. Each prize package will be a set of items that are literacy related. See below for specific information on prizes.

The name of the winner will be selected at random and will be drawn at approximately 6pm CT. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If we don’t hear from the winner, we will select another winner for that prize package. We will notify our 13 winners by Direct Message (DM) on Twitter.

Whereas you can enter as often as you like, if you are not following all 7 sponsors on Twitter, which will be verified, your entries will be disqualified. All entries that comply with the above rules will be valid for each drawing, including the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize will be awarded on December 1, 2009.

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