If you are a parent of a school age child that has a required summer reading list, then you know the term “Summer Reading” can possibly put a kink in your neck or at the very least, a twitch in your left eye. Come on….you know what I am talking about! The feeling that you get when you are holding on to those last days of summer and you realize that you are all WAY behind on the three or four books that they were supposed to read. Now you are at the beach squeezing in the last bit of summer fun and you haven’t even started reading Superfudge! What’s a parent to do??? Somehow, somewhere the term “summer reading” became synonomous with the words battle, argument, tension, no fun….do you see where I am going with this? I’m here to tell you that it does not have to be like this! Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do in the entire world. I often have 3-5 different things that I am reading at once. They may all have a little dust on them on my night stand, but I will get through them all sooner rather than later. Reading does not and should not be an arduous, grueling experience. Rather – it should take you to new places in your imagination, teach you about something you knew nothing of before or just simply help you escape real life and relax. So how do we instill this love of reading AND succesfully complete our summer reading before the night school is beginning? Here are a few tips that may make the term “summer reading” become what it should be – pleasant, relaxing and maybe even fun:
-Get the books from your child’s summer reading list asap and keep them in a safe place so that they are available when your child is ready for them.
-Begin summer reading soon! Like…now. Don’t wait.
-Set aside designated time to be quiet time for reading. My children were always early risers so we left the books right next to their beds and this is what they did first thing in the morning when they woke up. You might prefer later in the day after a long day at camp, the beach or the pool. Let them jump in the shower and then read for 30 mins or however long you decide while dinner is being made. Of course there is always reading in bed at night too but this is the one that makes me good and sleepy. Do whatever works for you and for your family.
-Ask your child about the book they are reading. Let them know that you have a vested interest in them and what they are reading.
– Read the book too! (if time permits of course) or at the very least, skim it over so you can have a meanigful dialogue with your child about the content. HINT: This might eliminate them skimming themselves if they think there is going to be a little Q and A session!
-Set a goal for when each book should be finished, This is helpful because there is usually an activity/project or as the kids get older, a book report that accompanies the book.
-Lastly and personally , my favorite – let them see YOU reading!!!! It’s contagious and a wonderful example for them to see you reading just for pleasure!
I wanted to let you know about my top five favorite children’s books and my top five favorite books for adults. I would LOVE to hear back from you with some of your favorites as well! Please feel free to respond through any form of social media that is best for you.
Children’s books: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (even though the back cover scared me to death when I was little)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! by Bill Martin
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Adult Books: The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Glass Castles by Jeanette Wall
Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Hope to hear from you! Happy “Summer Reading”!!!