Get-Caught-Reading-By-Your-Kids-RARDid you know that May is Get Caught Reading Month? First launched in 1999, Get Caught Reading is a national campaign that reminds us how much fun it is to read! Of course, we here at Red Apple Reading are huge advocates of the written word. So this month we want to join the campaign and encourage parents to pick up a book and “get caught reading” by their children!

Hopefully, your child’s school encourages parent volunteering! I am fortunate enough to visit my second grade son’s classroom regularly. I know his teacher loves for me to read individually with students who struggle in that area. Ask your child’s teacher if you can come to the school and read to the class. Not only will your child be thrilled to have you visit, you will enjoy the smiles on all of the children’s faces as they listen to the story unfold! You can make this even more special by planning ahead of time with the teacher to keep your visit a secret. When you pop in the door with a book, your little one will be pleasantly surprised!

Dine and Read
Those of you with preschool children at home also have plenty of opportunities to get caught reading. What do you and your little one do during meal time? Many families have the TV on during meals. I remember when I had small children at home it was tempting to set them at the table with their meal and clean up the kitchen, make phone calls, or perform some other household task. What if we instead sat down with our kids and spent some time reading? This is a great conversation starter! Your kiddo is sure to ask you about what you are reading and why you are reading. What a perfect opportunity to share about the joy that comes from diving into a good book, or the knowledge learned from a newspaper or magazine. Pretty soon your little one may begin asking you to read to her while she eats. This can lead to memories that will last a lifetime!

In most households across the country electronics are a primary source of entertainment. It’s not unusual to switch on the TV when we want to unwind. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a television show or two, we can inadvertently spend hours and hours each week mindlessly flipping channels. Many times the worst offenders of this crime are mom and dad! What a wonderful surprise it would be for our kids to walk into a quiet room and find their parents reading instead of watching TV. Yes, your child may initially wonder if someone absconded with his parents and replaced them with reading look-a-likes, but once the shock wears off he will be intrigued and hopefully challenged to do the same! By the way, television is not the only form of electronics that we can get a bit addicted to. Social media and cell phones can also keep us too tangled up to enjoy a good book. So at the risk of shocking our youngsters, let’s unplug for part of the evening and read!

One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children is modeling reading. When our kids see us valuing and enjoying the reading process, they will be more likely to follow suit. So let’s get creative and allow our kids to catch us in the act of reading, this month and all year long!