Thursday, December 4, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Bethlehem Night (and what to do when reading isn't working!)




I missed tonight's book Bethlehem Night by Julie Stiegemeyer.  :( This is a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations. I like the flow of the book and all of the rhyming phrases.

But I missed it. It did however, give my husband the opportunity to read with the kids, which I love.

When I asked what language skills he worked on while he read, he blinked and looked at me. Then he replied, "I was just glad to get through the book with Little W wiggling like crazy."

I know that is how many parents feel. They are just glad to read the last page, close the book and know that they did what they were supposed to do - read to their child. I have so been there! And there still are nights when I am thankful just to make it through the book. And there are nights when we don't make it through the book and we close it and just put Little W to bed!

Some nights will be worse than others. I find that if my kids are tired or have had a particularly busy day, they have a much harder time focusing. Tonight Billy, my husband, said that he found that when Little W was sitting on his lap facing the book he wiggled a lot, but when he turned him a little sideways so he was sitting on one leg with his feet between his legs, Little W focused much better.


Try a few things like making voices while you read or changing the way that you are sitting. Let your child be involved by turning the page or if there are lots of words on the page, simplify the sentences to a phrase or one sentence. You can ask them to find an object in the picture or to show you something "What do you see?" to draw their attention back.

Something I heard today was that "reading should be a pleasurable experience for both participants." If you both are miserable, maybe you need to pause or grab another book. There are lots of resources out there about great books for kids of all different ages. Find a great book that is appropriate for your child's age and one that's topic he will enjoy!

Here is a link to some regular (not Christmas books) with similar reading activities that I did a little while ago: Read with Me! Series

If you are having a great night reading with your child...Great!! It's one of the most rewarding experiences with your child!

This book would be a great one to do a technique called Paired Reading. I like to think of it as fill-in-the-blank reading. It's a technique to use after you've read a book a few times or if your child is a very good rhymer :)

Read the first line and most of the second line pausing before the last word. Since it rhymes with the last word in the prior sentence, and it is a familiar story, they get to finish the sentence for you! It's a good technique for a little bit of an older preschooler, say 4 or 5 years old, but can be done with younger preschoolers if they are very familiar with the book.


To see our review of this book, click here (book 9).

To get a copy of this book for your family, you can purchase it here:




How is reading going at your home? Have you encountered any problems? Any super solutions to share? I'm always looking for new ideas!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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