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Conquer Reading Log Stress

My ideal family evening is a winter night, all of us snuggled on the couch with a good book. There’s a fire going and no one is in a hurry. Our bellies are full, the dishes are put away, lunches are made. When bedtime approaches, teeth are brushed, hugs and kisses are exchanged, and sleep comes quickly.

Our current reality looks nothing like that. Winter is the busiest time of the year for my family. Both of my kids are playing a sport (basketball) and both have a time-consuming hobby (robotics and horseback riding). Many evenings feel more like a carefully orchestrated circus than a cozy evening of calm. I take solace knowing that the rest of our year isn’t this busy, but that doesn’t help with the stress of the current moment. So when the topic of reading logs comes up, my first thought is, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Am I right?

As a teacher AND a mom, I urge you to trust your parenting instincts and opt for quality over quantity.

3 Rules to Make Managing Reading Logs Less Stressful

  1. Don’t turn your kids into fanatical page counters or clock crunchers. The joy of reading is the act of reading itself, not completing a reading log. Nitpicking or obsessing over the reading log is not worth sacrificing the enjoyment of reading.
  2. Bring books with you everywhere you go to maximize downtime or situations when your kids might be bored. For example, read with one child while you sit through a sibling’s sports practice or rehearsal. Or hand everyone a book while you wait for your food to arrive at a restaurant. Not only is it good bonding time and a great way to prevent boredom, but it also reduces the need to rush to read before bed when you get home later. Then just jot down the minutes/pages read when you get home and have the reading log handy.
  3. Don’t encourage your child to lie on the reading log. My daughter has not met her reading log goal the last two weeks. Instead of stressing out over this missed deadline, we carved out some time on a Sunday to continue reading and catch up. We were intentional about this, and we looked forward to this planned downtime together. If turning in an incomplete reading log doesn’t sit well with you or your child, email the teacher to let them know that you intend to make up the missed time by a certain date, or have your child talk to their teacher. Teachers have busy lives, too. They’ll understand the need for flexibility. (Teachers, if you’re reading this, take note!)

Studies show us that reading is one of the leading ways to REDUCE anxiety in children. Don’t let stress over reading logs negate this benefit.

How do these rules work in practice, not just in theory? Here are some real world examples from my house over the last few weeks:

5th Grade Reading Log Requirement

My fifth grader’s reading log is given on Monday and due on Friday. The assignment states he is to read for 30 minutes nightly, but all that is required on the log itself is the title of the book and a chosen comprehension response to show some thoughts he had while reading. For example, he can make predictions, ask questions, draw connections, or write a summary. The parent signs the log at the end of the week.

  • The Ideal Night: We set no timers and my son gets carried away in his book. We talk about what he read independently or what we read together so we can add to our thinking and shared experience of the text.
  • The Busy Night: Some nights, he doesn’t get home from basketball until 9 p.m. After chatting about his practice and taking a shower, he’s ready for bed. If he’s still wired from practice, he’ll read in bed. He saves any sort of written reflection until the next evening.
  • The Average Night: After brushing his teeth, he (or we) settle in to read from 8:30-9:00 and then he writes his reflection before falling asleep.

3rd Grade Reading Log Requirement

My third grader’s reading log is given on Friday and due the next Friday. The assignment states she is to read for either 100 minutes or read 100 pages over the course of the week. There’s a place to record progress toward the goal for each day. Both student and parent sign after recording the week’s total.

  • The Ideal Night: My daughter loves reading together best, so we like to choose from picture books, chapter books with pictures, and picture-less chapter books. We’d read a bit before dinner and then for a longer period before bed. There’s no counting or clock-watching involved, only rich conversation or laughter.
  • The Busy Night: When our afternoon and evening activities run late, it’s a better idea for us to get a good night of sleep. We either skip reading all together or just read for a few minutes. We don’t bother recording anything until the next day.
  • The Average Night: We read for about 20-30 minutes before bed and record the pages or minutes when we’re done. If she’s tired or the text is challenging, I do most of the reading.

For better or for worse, reading logs are a common homework requirement for many students. The key is to make it a tool to encourage your family to make reading a habit, not a chore. Don’t let stress or anxiety over this assignment circumvent the joy of reading itself.

Remember, reading is more about quality than quantity.

If this is a topic that interests you, or that you struggle with, read these posts for more information and advice:
20 Minutes of Reading a Day: 18 Tips to Make It a Habit, Not a Chore
Where to Get Book Recommendations Your Child Will Love

Two products we love for reducing reading log stress:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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  10. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.


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