Captive Reading: Using a Whiteboard

Last month, I posted about captive reading in this post. On this blog, I try to list a lot of tips from my own experience or that I heard from other bilingual parents, but I thought that sharing some of my own results could be of interest to you, as it gives a more practical touch to tips lists. 🙂

A while back, to spice up our captive reading a bit, I had replaced the sheet of text in the loo with a small whiteboard and a marker, on which I write an easy question my eldest daughter can try to write an answer to or come and tell me directly.

At the beginning, my daughter did try to write answers or simply rubbed off my question and started “writing” (she is learning to read in English and French but not yet to write besides her name) whatever she fancied. It felt a bit frustrating to be honest. But I kept going, and over the last 2 weeks I got 2 very pleasant surprises…

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure to discover a perfect answer!! I snapped it to share it with you: I am so happy because for once she wrote a simple answer AND correctly.


The week before, though she had answered completely off point of the original question I had written. It was not the first time this happened, but it was very cute and here again I thought it would be nice to share it with you to show all the nice surprises you can be in for with this captive reading method. My daughter wrote “Never tickle a tiger, you know? I love you”. It was in reference to a book she adores that I reviewed here. With as a cherry on the cake a little love message.  Okay, the spelling needs working on but it was so cute that it felt great. 🙂

So if you have not tried this yet and your child is growing indifferent to captive reading, you might just want to give a shot to this more interactive approach. You could be in for a good surprise or even two (even if it is only after weeks of frustration 😉 ! )…


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