Summer Reading Time

in Essential Ramblings

If you have read my posts over the years, you know I am a “READER MOM” — I LOVE books, love reading to my kids, and push reading as often as I can.

Why?

A)  Reading makes kids smart.  It just does.  Their vocabulary increases, their comprehension increases, their attention span increases, and they are just different kids.  They sit still, they concentrate, and they understand in different ways.  Where’s the research back-up?  Well, it’s out there…I am just generalizing…but it’s good for them, trust me.

B)  Reading inflames kids’ imaginations.  It helps them reach into a new world, understand old worlds, and increase their interest in life around them — learning about other lifestyles, people and cultures.

C)  Reading keeps kids busy.  When reading, they are amusing themselves, they’re learning something, and they’re QUIET.  Honestly, what else could you ask for?

So this summer, whether your kids are great readers or mediocre ones, get them reading.  It will make trips easier, fill days when you hear “I’m bored” one too many times, and maybe it will even find you a quiet moment to read something yourself?!

Tips for getting non-readers excited:

1.  Find cozy reading spots — build a fort for reading in the house, take a blanket outside, or make a snugly spot in their room.

2.  Start small — if they find it hard to read, make reading time in small increments — set a timer if you have to, but have them sit quietly and be with whatever book they choose — whether it’s a picture book, a chapter book or a favorite cartoon.

3.  Pair reading with a snack if you need to — a little treat or a something to eat.  Feed the brain and the belly at the same time.  Make it special time.

4.  Read to or with them.  If they have trouble with the solitary aspect, pick a book you will both enjoy and get into it.  Let them help decide which book and when you will read it.  They may surprise you by loving the together time as much as the story.  Children of ALL ages love being read to and it makes it fun to have someone to talk to about the story.  My kids in particular love reading when Dad’s not home for dinner (I read, they sit at the table and eat) or at bed time.  They love getting into books together — chitter chattering about the story or acting out the characters or story in action later (only a slight problem last year when Hunger Games was part of the agenda and they wanted to play with their 2 year old nephews…but that’s a story for another day)

5.  If your child can’t sit still, read to them even while they are doing something else.  My 9 year old is a wiggly one — when he was a baby, I’d let him look at and hold board books while I read other stories to him, and he still prefers to be hanging upside down from the rafters while I read to him — but when I quiz him later, he’s still listening — and he has absolutely developed a love of reading along the way.  Sometimes he reads upside down on the couch, but he READS, and reads everything he can get his hands on!  Persevere.

And the most important advice?

Find good books.  And here’s the plug (based on really loving it, not paid advertising) — go to Little Joe’s books in Katonah — ASK for recommendations.  The staff (find Genevieve) is really knowledgeable, knows kids, and knows books.  She will find the perfect fit for your reader and you will find yourself going back over and over.  She recently started an “A-team” of kids who will preview books and make recommendations — so that books will also be kid-tested and approved!  Get in there and get started.  Location and details:  www.littlejoesbooks.com

Little Joe’s recent A-Team meeting