Summer Reading

I have always found reading to be one of the greatest pleasures in life. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of sitting on my grandfather’s lap in his rocking chair (which I still have today) and reading with him. Thanks to my grandparent’s emphasis on education, I could read before I started school, and they instilled in me a love of reading that has been a great source of empowerment and comfort to me throughout my life. When times were tough, or I was lonely (I grew up as an only child), getting lost in a book was always the best medicine.

It is so sad to see that many children today never pick up a book unless they are required to read it for school (and even then they try to find ways to cut corners and not read the whole book). The proliferation of social media and electronic devices is rotting kid’s brains. I would not mind so much if the material they were consuming on-line was substantive (at least some of the time), but taking quizzes on which Harry Potter character you are most like is just not going to do much for them as human beings.

I came across this article recently about how to get kids excited about reading, and I wanted to share it with my followers. I have used some of these suggestions successfully with my own children. My daughter and I read books together when she was younger (“Anne of Green Gables”, “Little Women” and “Tuck Everlasting”, were some of our favorites, among many others) and then we watched the movies together. Seeing these stories brought to life on screen was a fun experience for both of us. This also led to discussions about complex issues such as adoption, women’s rights, education, the Civil War, and immortality.

We have also traveled to places that feature characters from books my children have read. We have gone to Prince Edward Island and visited the “Anne of Green Gables” homestead, and we visited Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, and saw the desk where she wrote “Little Women” (it was very small and it looked very uncomfortable). These trips helped to bring the stories to life for my children.

Whatever you do this summer read!