D.E.A.R. Day, or Drop Everything And Read Day, always takes place on April 12, in honor of beloved author Beverly Cleary’s birthday.
We know the importance of reading. Most of us have read to our children from the beginning. After we teach them to read, we continue to encourage their reading, spend time reading aloud to them even when they can read for themselves, and make multiple trips to the library during the month to ensure that they always have a book at their fingertips. Are we making those same efforts towards our own reading?
Homeschooling moms always have a to-do list a mile long. We are experts at putting others before ourselves. Most of the time that is the right choice to make. In the grand scheme of lives our children are only in our homes for a very short period of time, they should be given our attention. Good attention, not just leftover bits at the end of a busy day.
Making the Choice to Read
As homeschooling moms we have a distinct advantage. Our children are not absent from the home during the day. For better or for worse (some days!) we have time. Most of us are not spending 8 hours a day actively schooling with workbooks, tests and such. That means we have time or can make the time to read! We know sitting down and sharing literature with our children is never a waste of time. Why are we not taking that time for ourselves?
When our kids see us sit down and choose a book over the computer, phone or TV, that sends a powerful message. Not only are we making time to fuel and feed our own souls, we are making time for rest and relaxation. Yes, our children need to know that it’s okay. No. More than okay, imperative that we take time in our crazy busy lives to simply be still. Our kids do not know what it’s like to live in a society where they can’t get instant information. Sound and noise are constantly coming at us in all directions. Total sensory overload all the time! That is, unless we make a conscience effort to do something differently.
A Good Reading Goal
Last year I made a goal to read 25 books throughout the year. I didn’t think I would be able to meet the goal very easily. You know what? I ended up reading over 75 books. Believe me I earned some bragging rights in my family! I made sure my big kids knew my accomplishment. Why? First, a little competition never hurt anyone, especially with teenage boys. Even more than bragging rights, my kids have a reminder that reading is important to me, something I willingly make time to do, not just empty words when I say “Go read your book!”
You don’t have to create lofty goals for an entire year. Just start with one day. I challenge you to decide you really are going to Drop Everything And Read for D.E.A.R. Day on April 12. Don’t just make your kids do it, join in with them! Kick the LEGO bricks out of the way, move over the folded laundry, create a cozy spot on the couch, declare it a “choose your own adventure” day for dinner (everyone who is able fends for themselves for one meal!) pick up your book and READ!
Give yourself permission to reap the benefits of getting lost in a great story!