You all know how much I love to read, but there is one more thing I love just as much, and that is structure & organization. Now this could take many forms, but the thing that I use the most to bring structure (and also some sanity) in my life are Lists!
I make all sorts of lists, and I would get into details, but I don’t want to scare you folks, so let’s just say I have more lists than I would like to admit. Which is the main reason why I also have a list to keep track of my lists. I know it seems kinda nuts, because frankly it is. But worry not, I have learnt to thrive in-spite of all my Type A issues, however that’s not the point here, I digress.
Coming back to what I was saying – reading & lists are among my favorite things. So imagine my delight when I found a program that combines the two things. Not for myself, but for my 5 year old. Which is even better, because I am always looking for ways to share my love of books with him. If I can also manage to show him a way to structure his reading, and work towards a goal, it’s a double-triple win for me.
And 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, a program that I came across during my last trip to my public library, does exactly that. And more.
But let me back up a bit here, and explain what it is all about, as best as I can.
What is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten & Why is it Important?
1000 Books before Kindergarten is a self paced early literacy program that encourages families to read at-least 1000 books to their kids before they start Kindergarten.
This is important because research has shown that children need to hear a 1000 stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read for themselves. And this program is essentially a structured way to get our kids ready.
How to Help Our Kids Read (Listen to) 1000 Books Before Kindergarten?
First thing first, while I believe the above mentioned research will hold good for any 1000 books, I am planning to follow the suggested list of books (which I will come to in the next section) as it is curated specifically with the purpose of prepping the little minds. And also because it is simpler for me to follow the list than deal with curating my own.
Now that that is out of the way, achieving this goal of 1000 books, essentially boils down to taking stock of where you are at right now, where you need to be, and effective planning to reach the goal.
I believe the ideal start time would be when your kid is between 2 and 3 years old, and is receptive to listening to stories, by which I mean that he/she is basically over the phase of utilizing books as chew toys.
Because kindergarten usually starts between age 5 and 6 (at-least here in the US), and the early start would give you 2-3 years to get to all the books. Of-course this also depends on pace, as you could read 1 book a day, and reach this goal in about 3 years OR you could 3 books in a day, every single day, and be done under 1 year.
As far as we (me and my son) are concerned, we looked at the list and realized that we have read only 5 books out of the 1000. Don’t get me wrong, we have read many many books together, but they are not on this list (which like I mentioned earlier, is the one I intend to follow). So as far as this challenge is concerned, we have read only 5/1000.*
*Update: At the time of writing this post, I was under the impression that my library has a list of 1000 book recommendations, and they had released the list of first 100 or so, only to release the rest later. As it happens, that is not the case. Which means, we will definitely read all of the 100 odd recommendations and follow the list, but also include other books we have read.
And considering that we have only a summer left before D goes to Kindergarten, the clock is against us. Nonetheless, we are determined, and overly optimistic at this point. However only time will tell how it all goes down.
I will definitely keep you guys posted on my social media, and do an update post here on the blog, when I have made some decent progress, and possibly also do a children’s book recommendations post.
Recommended Reading List, Rewards & Other Resources
As I mentioned earlier, here is the list of 1000 Books (*refer update above) that the program recommends. You could download it and/or print it out for your reference.
You could also visit this link, which has a lot of helpful resources, like the program instructions, answers to FAQs, blank templates of reading log sheets, which you can use to track your and your child’s progress, and rewards!
That’s all from my end, folks. I would love to hear from you guys. Have you participated in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge? Or any other kids reading challenge for that matter? If you have, do share your experience with me.
And if you intend to participate in this 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program, do let me know. We could cheer each other on!