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This was the scene that played out at our breakfast table this morning.
Me:????? Do you want toast with your cereal?
Hope:?? Yes, please.
Me:????? So you swear you have no homework for today, right?
Hope:?? We had a substitute yesterday, no homework. Can I watch a video on the iPad?
Me:????? No, no videos now, it’s too early in the day.?
Hope:?? You’re no fun mommy.
Me: ???? Not in the morning, you’re right. How about we read a book on Bookboard while we eat?
Hope:?? Yes! Am I close to unlocking more books? How many books more until I am as tall as the rocket?
We log on to Bookboard and check out Hope’s progress on the “bookometer” shown here.
Me: ???? Looks like you’re just over half way up the rocket so far — 95 more books to be rocket-size.
Hope:?? 95 books!? That will take a whole year!
Me:????? Not at all! ?Remember how you finished the T-Rex sized pile of books already? ?
Reminded of her prior achievement, she smiles and asks for more books. ?Which reminds me that Bookboard has come up with pretty smart, simple strategies to help motivate kids to read. Hope loves reading to earn keys that unlock more books. And there is something truly kid-cool about seeing you’ve read a stack of books as high as a t-rex or rocket!
As we clear dishes, I am also reflecting on the differences using Bookboard at night or in the morning. We all love getting cozy on the couch with night time stories, but using Bookboard in the morning, Hope is more alert when it comes to answering the discussion questions at the end of some books. She’s even using her best teacher voice:
Well, you see, when someone is a “thief” they are like, you know, stealing stuff. That’s what the rat was doing, stealing the other characters’ things. Ask me another word.
I like her enthusiasm but tell her no, we’re running late for school. That’s about the time I find the undone homework assignment sitting in her backpack. Let’s just say this mama wasn’t happy.
Hope:? Oops. I’m sorry mommy, I forgot!
Me:????? Hope, you need to focus on these things! Now your homework is going to be late.
Hope:? But mommy, I just did Bookboard reading. ?Isn’t that learning too?
Oh, well played kid. She was still in hot water for forgetting her homework, but I had to concede her point: Bookboard is about learning, too — and motivating kids to “read as high as a rocket.”