Happy New Year! Like everyone else I know in Japan, I am relieved that 2011 is over, finally. I want to make 2012 our best year yet.
Do you have a resolution?
I have two. Get at least 5 hours of sleep a night, and read aloud to my kids every single day.
I first started this blog as a way to keep myself motivated with pre-afterschooling my kids in English. I wanted to get people's feedback and to push myself to do more, better by my kids. I wanted to give them a taste of my culture, a sense of being Canadian even if they are not in Canada. As the months have moved on I have realized the best thing I can do right now is read out loud to them.
I love it too, curling up with them in pajamas, smelling of shampoo and toothpaste, arguing over who chooses which book that night. Then delving into picture books with beautiful illustrations and words that are fun to say. Then talking with my kids after about what they liked about the book or whether it is ever okay to emulate a Robert Munsch character. It's my favourite part of the day.
But, the thing is, it's hard to carve that time out sometimes. I'm a working mom, my weekday time with my kids is limited. Sometimes I am busy and daddy puts them to bed. Sometimes Spinky is exhausted after 2 hours of soccer practice and falls asleep for the night in the car on the way home. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.
In 2012, I want to make it work everyday. If I know Spinky has soccer, we'll read in the morning or on the commute. If I know work will be busy, I'll record a tape for daddy to play.
And to keep myself on track, I am putting a financial incentive to my goal. Every day that I do not read to my kids, I will put $5 in my kiva.org account to be lent to the world's working poor. I believe in Kiva, so it's a win-win, right? I wanted to give to a children's book charity, but was too lazy to look for one before it became 2012, so next year I guess! (If you know of one that is secular and will take donations from Japan, please tell me!)
If I really suck, that could be $1820. (I've already finished reading today!)
Are you interested in playing along? Please, the more the merrier! Feel free to steal the very shoddy button above for your own blog, comment here, or just do it. You choose your own incentive! Just let me know so I can cheer you on. I hope to have round-up posts every month to see how everyone is doing, but no promises.