No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks!
We sang that on the last day of school about a hundred years ago when I
was in school. I hope that
parents won’t let kids take the “no more books” part
of that seriously any more.
Summer is a great time to keep up reading skills and make sure that
kids don’t lose any of the
hard-earned progress gained during the school year.
Check to see if your local library has an enriching summer reading
program. Many do. A local
librarian helped me to understand the hardship that
summer reading lists create
The greatest problem is that parents flock to the library for listed
which are usually in limited
supply. They check them out, keep them for as many
as four weeks, and make
it difficult for others to get them. In the process, they
ignore many of the other
fine books that the libraries have on hand.
Librarians suggest that you look for the new book shelf. Since most libraries
have limited funds for purchasing
books, they do so based on careful
considerations from many
sources. The shelf of recently acquired books is, in and
of itself, a suggested reading
Finally, remember that librarians are there to help. They want your children
to tell them about their
interests, so that they can suggest appropriate books.
It is always best to have kids choose reading on the basis of its being
good use of time. This is
intrinsic motivation. But not all kids work that way; some
of them need a little nudge
to get them to read. Just in case your child needs
some extrinsic motivation,
see if the successful completion of your library’s
summer reading program will
net each child any of the prizes that are
sometimes avaialble, such
as free ice cream, pizza, tickets to a baseball game,
and perhaps books. Stop
by your branch library to sign up.
This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacher’s Advice for Parents.