Africa Kids Book Club

One day, I and  the kids book club group that I facilitate talked about the challenges we had getting reading or writing activities done.

Reading can be a great way to unwind after a long day. It can also be a fantastic way to get the day started, especially if the content is motivational.

Similarly, writing is a great tool for sorting through the mess in our heads. In fact, research indicates that journaling in any form can help to manage anxiety, depression, and stress. 

Moreover, improving our writing skills with consistent practice can help improve other areas in our lives such as our habits and our ability to set and keep track of goals.

Yet in a world with a million things to do on a daily basis, getting through that book chapter can easily slip to the group of important-but-not-urgent tasks and lie delayed until forgotten.

Working on that creative paragraph can feel like a frustrating chore when there’s a whole list of other assignments to get through.

The life of a student can be pretty intense. Homework from all subjects, extra curricular activities like soccer and swimming practice, studying for exams, family time, name it. While an adult may not deal with exams or necessarily have homework, their life too is bogged down by an array of duties including work, taking care of their family, and plenty more.

So, how can we get some reading or writing done in the midst of all these motions?

1. Set a specific time for reading or writing.

One of the lessons I have come to appreciate as I grow older is that we have to make time for the things that are important. So, it helps to set aside some time to read a few pages or get some writing done. 

I write in my journal each morning even on my busiest day. Sometimes it is as easy as logging in my tasks for the day. Other  times it is an outpouring of the thoughts and emotions I experience. Sometimes it takes as long as an hour. Other times it is as brief as 15 minutes long.

2. Get through the reading or writing in small portions.

Many of us feel like we would be great readers when we have  finished 52 books in a year. 

But the art of reading is not pegged on the number of Dork Diaries plowed  through every month. Rather, it is consistency that grooms our reading and writing skills. In this vein, reading a few pages every day will be more valuable than planning to finish a whole novel and ending up procrastinating or stressing about it.

3. Appreciate every bit of reading and writing you get.

We may not actively read novels or write essays each day.

But every time we are going through an assignment, preparing a report, or studying for a test, we are actually practicing our reading and writing. They may not be the book of our dreams, but each time we work on something is a chance to sharpen our listening, reading, or writing skills.

What are your strategies to improve your reading and writing culture?

Maggie Mungai

Facilitator – Bintumani group

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