Summer READING is killing me!

The title of this page is from Jon Sciescka's Time Warp Trio book series.  Your child may be telling you just that.  You might want to use this book, Summer Reading is Killing Me! by Jon Sciescka, as a read aloud or as a choice for silent reading.  Let's see what Jim Trelease, author of New York Times Bestseller The Read Aloud Handbook, has to say about summer reading.  Here is an exerpt from his brochure titled, "Summer Reading". 

Won't "requiring" children to read eventually turn them off?  Do you require your child to brush his teeth every day?  Do you worry that such requirements will eventually lead to your grown son giving up teeth-brushing because you "required" it in his childhood?  Sounds pretty silly when we put it in those terms, doesn't it?  Sonya Carson required her two sons to obtain library cards and read two books a week.  Today one is an engineer and the other is a pediatric brain surgeon.  Here is another story ~ Dr. Michael DeBakey was required to read one book a week as a child.  He went on to invent the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) and became the world's greatest heart surgeon.  Both of these are huge testimonials to parents who believed in raising their children instead of just watching them grow up.

Children will never have a chance for higher achievements without higher-level reading skills.  Where nothing is asked, usually nothing is received.  So, how to require reading and still keep it pleasure-oriented?  First, remember that pleasure is more often CAUGHT than taught (that means - READ ALOUD to them DAILY).  They should ALSO read silently to themselves everyday.  Here are some points to help with SSR (sustained silent reading) - start with 10 to 15 minutes a day:

  • make sure you are reading silently daily - read at the same time your child does
  • allow children to choose the books they wish to read to themselves
  • don't take a vacation car trip without books on board - don't forget recorded books
  • newspapers and magazines, even comic books, should count as reading
  • the interest factor is important here

The goal here is to raise a lifetime reader.  Every lifetime reader I've ever known spent summers reading everything - including "junk".