Tuesday, May 16, 2017

500 Books!

We are so ridiculously proud of Jackson! He read 500 books in the first grade!!!

His amazing teacher challenged all of the kids to read 100 books in the first grade. Jackson completed this challenge by Christmas, but he decided to raise the stakes for himself and came back after Christmas with a bold New Years' Resolution:

In case you can't decipher first grade boy writing, that says "In 2017 I will read 500 books by the end of the first grade." When his teacher posted the picture of Jackson's resolution, my response was "Wow! He's really going to have to step up his reading game!" He came home that day and asked how many books he would have to read each day to reach his goal. We did the math and figured out that he would need to read 3-4 books every day. And he did it!

Jackson is what some may call a "strong willed child." He is stubborn and constantly challenging us with his desire to be "right". He tests the limits and desperately wants to be in charge all the time. He can be single-minded to a fault. Our prayer for him has always been that he is able to use that strong will for good, because once this boy sets his mind to something, there is nothing he can't do and no one he can't convince to follow him. Reading is still not one of Jackson's favorite activities, so some days he wasn't too excited to read. I never made it a struggle with him and always reminded him, "Buddy, it's your goal, not mine. You can choose to read or not." It's been so inspiring to watch him tap into that inner resolve and determination to pursue this big goal, one book at a time, even when he would rather be doing something else.

Everyone got read to! Jackson read to Ben every night.

And sometimes it was a really full chair when all of the brothers would pile in for the nightly reading.

Even Gracie enjoyed a few books!

The look of pride on his face when he read that 500th book was awesome! And naturally, with all of that practice, his reading skills skyrocketed. He's now reading a full year above grade level, and he has discovered he can read just about anything!

I'm so inspired by him because how many times do we, as adults, hold ourselves back from setting the big goal or pursuing the crazy dream because of fear of failure? It was never even a consideration for him that he wouldn't accomplish his goal. May he always dream those big dreams, and channel his gifts into accomplishing them!

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