One of the things I look forward to the most this season, aside from the opening of the pool, is the summer reading program offered by our local libraries. Here are eight reasons why it is amazing. You're probably asking yourself why I didn't do ten or five or some normal list number, but I could think of eight. So, it's eight...
1. Your kid can't complain about boredom-just put a new book in their hands if they do and remind them about the rewards they get from doing it.
2. It' s FREE. In the land of hundred-dollar plus summer camps (that, by the way, your kid may not like) and forty dollar pizza/gaming place visits, this helps.
3. With so many libraries participating, you can pick the ones offering the things that your child loves the most as reading rewards. Some even have teen prize sets.
4. Adults usually have raffle entries. All those trips to the library mean more books for you, and you can log them for chances to win things you care about.
5. It provides a short, concrete example about setting goals and meeting them. Something incredibly important for younger people to learn.
6. Summer socialization just happens easier. More library trips equal your family making it to more events where usually something fun or creative will be going on with tons of other kids around. As someone who sucks at planning get-togethers, I fully appreciate this. You'll get to know some familiar faces this way, too.
7. High reading goals are going to get your kids to try out different kinds of books, and exposure to all kinds of literature is awesome. Don't be upset if they check out ten comic books. They are trying to find out what type of book makes them happy.
8. Time together. Don't forget even teens benefit from you reading aloud chapter books with them. Summer reading is something you can all do together even if your kids are independent. If your teenager thinks the reading aloud thing is too much, you can still talk about and pick books together. Doing things like this as a family is just the best. It really is.
If you're not registered for one of these summer programs, go do so. Your library might even offer to do registration or even the book logs online, so check the city website.
If you're worried about getting enough books for your kiddos to hit their goal, consider something like Skybrary, Reading Rainbow's app that provides access to tons of books (with minor animations added in). The fee is pretty small now (it was a tad higher when we signed on) but it's not non-existent. You can save some by just signing onto it for the summer months. However, we totally use this sometimes for nightly reading logs for school, too.