An O’Byrne Challenge for You!

Many of you joined in on the last “O’Byrne Challenge” to reduce screen time and increase fine motor skills through fun and board games.  I loved seeing the pictures you sent me of your children playing with Wiki sticks, coloring marathons, using stickers, playing chess, and more.

So, here we go…I have another O’BYRNE CHALLENGE for you!

I want each of you to join in on the 20/20 Reading Challenge. Yes, this is different than the TV show and different than your eye vision. This is a vision that will prayerfully impact you, your family, and your grandchildren one day. It will also help prevent the Summer Slide (loss of reading achievement from the school year before)!

Will you read with your child for a MINIMUM of 20 minutes a day for the next 20 days?

Mix it up; read to your child and encourage your child to read aloud to you (no matter how old they are). Let your child see you reading material that you value while your child “reads” independently (or looks at the pictures and pretends to read).  If you have a young children who have memorized the book or made up the words or story as they go, get excited as they embrace this stage of reading. Congratulate your children that they are reading and let them know that you are so proud of them for working hard!

If you have multiple children at home, encourage them to read to each other at times, but please intentionally schedule some one-on-one time with each child.

If you don’t have other children around, have your child read to a pet, stuffed animal, action figure, or doll. You may want to read inside or take the family outside and enjoy a “Florida breeze” while reading. Change up the environment; head to the beach, visit a park, picnic by a lake. Before you know it, your children and grandchildren will be impacted in a positive way!

I know that many of you might be thinking that 20 minutes isn’t much of a challenge for you. That’s fantastic! You should increase the time and days in your challenge. Decide as a family. Maybe for you, the challenge should be 30/30 or 40/40. Let your child mark a calendar or list the dates somewhere each time your family participates.

Let’s help our children form positive habits. We all want our children to be able to dive into God’s Word at a young age and to continue to do so when we aren’t around anymore.

As you read the poem below (shared with me by Dr. Sligh), think about the impact that you are having or could have on your child’s life.

The Reading Mother
by Strickland Gillilian

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings –
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.

Will you commit to this O’Byrne Challenge? If so, let me know ( and don’t forget to send me photos of your family reading!