If you ever look at my blog, you know that I am a reader. I love to read. I could read all day. I have to stop myself from reading to actively participate in the real world. My mom used to make me put down my books and play outside. I’m addicted, it’s just a legal drug and is generally a good thing to be addicted to!
Seeing a parent read is the best way to raise readers. I truly believe that. I also accept that not everyone is going to be as crazy about books as I am. But I will try to convert you I promise.
Summer time at our house is a great time. We are either crazy-busy or crazy-lazy. For the crazy-lazy times it can be challenging to keep the media to a low-roar. In our house media is TV, computer or non-active Wii games. For the last two years I have used media-bucks to keep the kids on limited screen time and to keep them reading. Last year I had yard sales at the end of the month where the girls could buy fun stuff with media bucks if they saved them. This is great because they are earning the media bucks, but not using them on TV! I also had a read-so-many-minutes over the summer you get a book series. All the girls earned great book series. Meg got the entire 39 Clues series, Mita got The Hunger Games Trilogy, Enu got a huge Junie B. Jones series and Elle got… I cannot remember, I thinks she just chose a few books instead of a series.
While I was happy with last year’s success, I am ramping it up a bit. This year I am doing a stamp card. This way they hopefully don’t loose it the way they could the media bucks. Here is how it goes:
1 Media Stamp = 30 minutes of media time
Level 1 books = 1 media stamp for 30 minutes of reading
(age level books the kids like to read)
Level 2 books = 2 media stamps for 30 minutes of reading
(Book that push them to read at a higher level)
Level 3 books= 3 media stamps for 30 minutes of reading
(any non-fiction reading, classic or a book that Mom would like you to read)
Learning Lab = 3 media stamps
( A workbook or experiment.)
Active outdoor play for 30 minutes= 1 media stamp
You can see where I am going with Level 3. Meg doesn’t want to read the classics right now, but I am bound and determined to get some Little Women in her this summer! This should all equal to plenty of TV time as well as great reading time and some fun prizes. This year I am doing gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes instead of a yard sale. The kids are stoked!
This may seem like a lot of work, but for my family it is how we function. We have to have clear, set guidelines or it is chaos around here.
We also do the Summer Reading at our local library. This is a family favorite, but as the kids get older I really push content over how many books are read. I try to get the girls to set a content goal over a number goal, like “I will read 20 books this summer, 10 of them chapter books, 2 of them classics and 8 off them non-fiction.”
Scholastic has a great summer reading site that you should check out. We did this last summer and the kids had a lot of fun on it. It is a fun way for them to keep track of how much they read. It also lead to a great discussion on honestly and integrity when one of my girls cooked the numbers a bit! Click here for a video tutorial on how it works. They also have great book lists for all ages.
If you want to keep your kids reading this summer the first thing you should do is pick up a book and read it yourself, let the kids see you read and talk about what a great book it is. Then take them to the library!