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P1020471abby on books

“Come with me,’ Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime
go together.”
Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me

Nourish your children well this summer and encourage them to read, read, read! The most important indicator of future success is a child who loves to read!
How do you get a reluctant reader to love to read? You make him read more! But, while he is laboring away at the hard work of reading, give him the blessing of reading aloud to him and choose really interesting books! As you engage his imagination with wonderful words, he will become more motivated to learn the skill of reading.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”~ Emilie Buchwald

I’ve instituted our own family reading program for our two youngest children because I am frustrated by the lack of real reading programs at our local libraries (and, also, because we have an amazing library of books in our home and the kids didn’t do enough reading this year).

Back in the old days (when I was young :-)), libraries rewarded kids who read a lot of books over the summer. The child who read the most books won, plain and simple! Now, kids are given weekly treats and goodies if they read a few pages or a few chapters. Yes, even our libraries have been “dumbed down.”

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that we’ve had some late readers in my family. I’m not unsympathetic toward struggling learners. No, indeed. However, all children (struggling and not-so-struggling) need to work very hard to win prizes for reading! They need to learn that reading is its own reward!

I don’t think our local libraries do that anymore.

P1040371.jpg abby reading

I found some really cute punch cards at our local teachers’ supply store to keep track of books that my 11-year-old and 8-year-old read this summer.The cards are nice but anyone can make their own. After ten punches (ten books) my kids get a prize (maybe a book would be appropriate?). The card is finished after twenty punches and the kids are well on their way toward developing the discipline of reading.

So, in-between swimming, bike riding and playing with friends, I remind my kids every day to read a good book or two! Chances are they will choose a book from this list this summer.

What are your children’s favorites books? And, read-alouds? Be sure to share what books you’ve enjoyed together with your children!

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” ~Walt Disney

(photo credit: Hannah Jane Farris of her younger sister Abby Sue)