Day: July 25, 2004

Reading Incentives

Kiki is a reader. The only way I could get her to stop reading would be to remove all printed matter from the house and then she’d be off at the neighbors begging for books. This is a good thing.

Link is just beginning to learn to read. His road to reading fluency is not going to be as easy as Kiki’s was. In an effort to make reading something Link wants to do, I’ve insituted a reading incentive program. In the interests of avoiding whining, I’ve included Kiki.

Link and Kiki each get to pick an Item they want to earn, a toy, or a game, basically whatever shiny thing currently has their eye. Then based on the price of the item we set up a chart with check boxes to mark off points. Each point is worth roughly 10 cents, so a $10 item is 100 points. Link gets one point for each 8 page phonics reader book he reads. Kiki gets one point for each 25 pages of a chapter book that she reads.

So far so good. My goal for both children is literacy and that can be gained by being read to, as well as by reading. Unfortunately finding time to sit down and read to Link or Kiki is very difficult. Invariably Gleek comes along and plops in the middle of the story. Then she gets bored because there are no pictures. Then she begins climbing the back of the couch and doing acrobatics over our heads. This always ends in her landing on us and somebody crying. Patches ends reading sessions even more quickly by climbing into the middle of the snuggle and then grabbing the book.

But tonight I had a brilliant idea. Tonight I turned to Kiki and told her she’d get triple points on anything that she read to Link. And I turned to Link and told him that however many points Kiki got, he’d get the same number. They both lit up and ran off to go read. It’s educational Judo! I have them teaching each other! I love it when I can manage stuff like this.

Thoughts on Lori Hacking

The disapearance of Lori Hacking which is a local event here and has made national news has been much on my mind lately.  Hard to not have it on my mind since everywhere I go people are discussing it.  The thing that bothers me most is the way that people are discussing it.  They are almost always the fearful discussions of people who find this kind of event beyond comprehension.  I read a fantastic book about a year ago which makes this kind of thing not only comprehensible, but predictable.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  After reading it I have been much less fearful of violence.  I feel like I know better how to predict it and what to do if it threatens.  Gavin de Becker knows his subject and explains it thoroughly.  I wish Lori Hacking had read it.  Maybe then she could have protected herself from abduction or from her own husband whichever happened to her.