My boys are voracious little readers, which I love. Reading is so important - it opens a whole new world to them, a world of imagination and learning and creativity. It helps them expand their minds, it teaches them independent thought. It's a tool they'll need for the rest of their lives in order to lead successful lives, and I'm so glad it's something they actually enjoy.
I love seeing the boys get so engrossed in a story that they don't want to put their books down. I love watching them use their imaginations to create for themselves their own version of the world they're reading about. I love listening to them tell me about the story they're reading, who said what and why it was funny and what was exciting or scary or confusing and their predictions for what will happen next, their heads so full that their words are spilling out over one another.
To make sure we don't lose any of that enthusiasm over the summer months when they're not in school we join the summer reading club at the library every year. It's a wonderful program, free to anyone with a library card. Each child receives an activity book and a "reading passport" at the beginning of the summer. In the passport they record all the books they read - there's no minimum or maximum and no deadline; it's completely non-competitive and self-driven. After every three books they can go in and do a little book report for the children's librarian. Their passport is stamped and they receive a little prize for their accomplishment. It's wonderful incentive to keep the kids reading all summer long and reminds us to make the time to get over to the library every week. And it keeps their learning going through those lazy summer months without their even realizing it!
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