One of the things we really struggle with at the Hamakko house is keeping the kids motivated with their reading, in English anyway. There are times when I catch myself saying things like
Put that book down now and come do your homework!
Maybe it’s hard to tell looking at a computer screen, but whenever I’ve said it loud you could cut through the sense of irony with a butter knife. But of course those are Japanese books, and more likely than not about Doraemon.
But back to English.
Our kids have a phenomatastic English teacher who assigns each child an interesting, level appropriate reader every.damn.week. Amazing, no?
In spite of that, there are times when we struggle. Like now. My sister is here at Mom’s House o’Horror, and I kind of don’t want to tell the kids to stop playing with the cousin they never see and do their homework. While they were still mid-jet lag there was plenty of time to do it, but now? Not so much.
We’ve been hitting the local hot spot aka public library pretty regularly, though. I think I mentioned that I signed Me First up for this “reading to dogs” program.
Well, the Day of the Dog finally arrived. Me First did NOT want to go. We got him to the library under the pretense of playing with the trains they have there. I then proceeded to drag him kicking and screaming and pinching into the doggie room. Really, I have a mark on my arm from the pinch. Once we got in, he couldn’t resist the dogs. He’s a seven year old boy, after all, with no dog to call his own. Of course he can’t resist a friendly canine. After a few minutes of puppy lovin’, Mrs. Doggy Caretaker told Me First how much Cooper (the dog) likes being read to.
And that’s all it took. Me First went over to the book table, chose a book that was way too easy for him, took it back, and he read to that dog.
And then he got a sticker. It had the dog’s picture on it. Reading: with dogs. Sounds like a great motivator to me.