Ah, the lazy days of summer…well, as “lazy” as they can be with four young kids involved! Today we enjoyed the second “regular” day of our six week summer break from regular academics – a.k.a. a day that would have been a school day had we not already started our break!
Reading books is still very much a part of our day, however. Mr. E is eager to keep progressing in his reading skills. I gave him the challenge last week to read all 10 books in the Now I’m Reading Level 2 set “Amazing Animals” by Nora Gaydos in order to “earn” a trip to a neighborhood bakery for an Angry Birds cookie. He read the last four books today!
Even though they were overpriced (so much so that the clerk kept apologizing for how expensive they were!), I bought one for each kid as a fun celebration of a reading goal accomplished.
Our local library does not offer much in the way of summer reading programs — they have volunteers doing fun crafts with kids on many summer days, but no prizes for accomplishing reading goals like some libraries have. We’ll participate in a couple of book-store sponsored summer reading programs that involve the kids tracking the number of books or number of minutes they read each day.
For Miss M I created a “Genre Challenge” inspired by a similar challenge printable at Walking By the Way. We haven’t decided on a reward yet, but her challenge is to read a dozen books each with a different genre or characteristic, many of which are not things she would select on her own (such as a non-fiction book about a science topic or a fiction book with a male main character). I’ll also have Miss M keep a reading log for the first time of all the books she reads. That’s a habit I want her to start doing all the time, not just this summer! Just since Friday afternoon when I declared the beginning of summer break, I think she has read at least eight books!
Besides the bookstore reading reward programs, I may set up a few more mini-challenges for Mr. E similar to the challenge that earned him the Angry Bird cookie. He is pretty motivated to practice reading, but I know that these early weeks or months of needing lots of practice, practice, practice can get tiring…so a few extra motivators certainly won’t hurt.
I’m diving into a reading challenge of my own (inspired by this blog post), though it may be a true challenge to complete it. I started a Bible-in-90-days reading plan in my YouVersion app on the iPad. With about 100 days from the day before Memorial Day to Labor Day, that would give me 10 potential catch-up days. Even with that, I’m not sure it will be very easy to find the time to really read something like 16 chapters a day. But given that I had gotten into the bad habit of reading a chapter or two a day to the kids and not reading any further on my own, even keeping up partially with this kind of reading plan is an improvement. As much fun as it would be to read facebook and light novels while I “supervise” the kids in the bathtub-depth backyard pool, I know doing some extra Bible reading first will be a good thing for my spiritual life.