The library in town provides phenomenal activities for kids to participate in.
One of those is the summer reading program!
My son’s school includes a pamphlet during the last week of school to begin keeping track of summer reading hours logged in order to earn prizes. When we first went to collect on said winnings, we also grabbed a pamphlet for my daughters (they include babies in the program incentive to get parents to begin reading to their children, also). For someone like my son who claims to “hate reading”, I love that our library continues this each year.
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So, we go to story time, listen to stories, dance to some songs, and make some sort of craft either before or after cashing in for a new treasure.
I feel like the summer reading program gives him something to work towards and enough reason to continue reading that he has found at least a book or two he has enjoyed (though I’m sure he won’t admit that).
Take a listen to this cute little song by PlayKids. The message that books are an adventure and important comes through in such a fun way for children:
Come with me and have an adventure
Come with me and see for yourself
All you need for hocus-pocus magic
Is that book on your little bookshelf
Tell me that isn’t catchy and adorably true. Reading has always been a joy for me — I am addicted to Laurell K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kim Harrison to name a few. After a long week, I could easily spend all day reading (though I prefer books over a tablet, so I haven’t read much since my second was born and my third and last baby is now 3 months old).
Here are my tips for participating in the summer reading program:
Follow a Schedule
We try to read before bed every night. I like to try to keep up with that. Some summer days tend to make that difficult, so we switch it to the morning after we get up and about. If it’s done in the morning, we try to do the reading before beginning any other task so it doesn’t get overlooked or pushed aside. I use a Happy Planner to keep track of my day like this one:
We recently picked out a chapter book to read together. Although my son can read by himself, he still very much likes when we read together. And my daughter just loves listening and pretending to read with us and working on word recognition. The babes doesn’t get much of a choice yet, but I’m sure she’ll be happy to be part of the group learning, laughing, asking questions, and broadening that imagination.
Keep Track of Time
Thanks to my son’s school, not only do we need to notice the time we spend on reading (we try for 20-30 minutes a day at least), we also need to note which books are read and what he ranks them out of 5 stars. This has been a fun task for him as he gets to critique what he’s reading — apparently that adds a fun element for him. Try this reading log.
Try Different Kinds
My son seems to like comics a bit, but we still switch it up. He has chapter books that are more difficult, the simpler chapter books that ease them into the tougher kinds, fiction, and non-fiction. He tends to like fact books like Weird, But True, also. My daughter likes silly ones and books with touch-pad music at the moment. We shall see how they develop and change, but allowing them access to all varieties give them the opportunity to find out which are their favorites.
Make it Memorable
This step is my favorite in all aspects of family-life. I tend to not let loose and go with the flow of what they want to do very often. So, when they bring me books, I say yes and we read. The balance of mom-life and work-from-home-life gets a little hectic and reading at night all cuddled together makes me a happy mama. I revel in that time and just love the closeness it allows. Beyond the reading, I hear about their days, what their minds come up with during certain points of the story, and sometimes find where their interests lie at that given time.
Remember, we’re all just doing our best — but let’s have fun in the process! Share your favorite books or stories you have about reading with me in the comments section below.
Check out my blog about affordable vacations for more summer fun, as well!
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