Do you remember D.E.A.R.? (Drop Everything And Read!) Or maybe you had S.S.R. (Sustained Silent Reading) or maybe it was S.Q.U.I.R.T. (Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Reading Time) or maybe you had read-a-thons? Whatever the name, do you remember just getting to read?
I was craving a good read (and my kids could stand to catch up on some summer reading minutes), so I thought we would try a D.E.A.R afternoon at our house–where we Dropped Everything And Read. I picked a rainy afternoon after we had just got back from the library so our book supply was fresh. We made a big fort in our living room using our kitchen table.
The kids gathered books and treats and we hunkered down to read. I even laid on the couch and tried to catch up on some reading.
Besides great books, the key to a read-a-thon being successful is the treats. I would recommend non-greasy / hands free treats as to protect the books. Fun gum, licorice, and suckers works well.
Next time I would make a few tweaks in our D.E.A.R afternoon. I would let every kid invite a friend (because friends make everything more fun) and then they could pair up. We would have reading stations in different rooms (since we all can’t fit under the table). One room would be a read aloud room where I read to them, one room might be a room where they could read to each other, and the last room would be silent reading. We would rotate between the rooms every 20 minutes or so. I think rotating rooms might minimize distractions and keep their attention longer. I’ll let you know how it goes.
There was probably more eating and blanket adjusting than reading, but it was better than watching TV right? So take some time this summer to Drop Everything And Read!