Super Mo: Summer Reading

Maureen is our Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy 2011 Bookmark Challenge Super Model.

Let’s talk about summer reading. I feel summer reading is very important to keep kids’ brains in motion. However, it should be a fun thing to do.

Last year, at the end of the school year, my daughter received a pamphlet for a Reading Challenge from our assemblyman, David Koon. It had a calendar for July and August, and she had to check off the days that she read.

When Madison read forty or more days, the calendar was sent in. She was then invited to an awards ceremony and received this certificate.

Stitching for Literacy, Summer reading certificate

That assemblyman is no longer in office so I am not sure if the new assemblyman will continue the program. I think I will! Who’s with me?

Have a July and August calendar and check off each day your child reads. You can even make it a fun family event. Take turns reading. It would still count. You can have them read as many days that suits you and have an award at the end. Perhaps, dinner out or a movie. What’s your suggestion? By the time September rolls around they’re ready to go and learn.

Let’s keep the young brains working!

Jen’s two cents

You know I’m a believer in setting goals and checking items or days off of lists, so setting up a family summer reading plan is right up my alley. I think I might include reading and stitching in my personal goal. I know I slack off in the summer.

Mo’s right, too, about kids’ reading skills slipping over the summer if they aren’t sufficiently engaged. Research shows this.

She’s also right about summer reading needing to be fun. A friend recently complained that his kids’ school reading was too rigid and difficult to allow the kids to enjoy reading. I don’t completely disagree with this, but I do think that reading for fun needs to be modeled, taught, and learned at home.

School will always be kids’ equivalent of work, no matter how fun it is. Consequently, schoolwork will always be work. How many people view work—or anything at all that we have to do—as fun?

So a big part of summer reading should, indeed, be fun. Big fun! Let your kids choose what they read. If they need help choosing, ask around—friends, librarians, teachers—for suggestions. Check out those book titles Mo got in her survey last week.

Another thing that I think makes reading fun is doing it together, so make the time for family reading. Make it a family goal. Make it a game, too: maybe add the goal of reading in a different place every day. Trust me, your kids will remember forever the evening you spent a half-hour squished into the bathroom, sitting on the floor, to read in a new place.

And, of course—you know this is coming—make one of the rewards for reaching your goal a hand-stitched bookmark.

Keep up with Maureen and her stitching at her blog, Maureen’s Mountain of Stitching.

Categories: Reading