When I see my kids reading, it warms the cockles of my heart. Whether it is my six year old whipping through her Dr. Seuss collection, my ten year old reading up on the anatomy of a dolphin, or my 12 year old engrossed in her tween romance books, I feel like I’m doing something right.
The fact is, I am not a reader, I never have been and as hard as I have tried to remedy this, I just can’t seem to become one. Growing up, my mom never really encouraged it. I was never brought to the library. I thought the Bookmobile had a funky smell and the lady that checked out the books at the counter had a mustache (as did I and I was afraid I would become her, so I avoided that path at all costs.)
Instead, I watched a lot of Brady Bunch and perfected waxing the hair on my upper lip. In hindsight, I wish I would have looked harder to find books that would have been an escape, that intrigued me and brought me to another place. If reading would have been instilled in me from the beginning and if I would have been guided to book s that appealed to me, maybe my eyes wouldn’t have glazed over with each Oprah Book Club Selection and I would have an opinion about Jacob or Edward. But I didn’t and I don’t.
I want to make sure that my kids don’t follow my bad example. My first line of defense is summer reading. As soon as school is out, we head to the library and sign up for the summer reading program. My kids love the incentives. They usually earn an ice cream cone and get a bunch of free bookmarks and posters that I will clean up off of the floor of the car when school starts. But it’s worth it to get them excited about reading.
These days, with video games, television and computers, there is a lot of other stuff out competing for kids’ attention. I want my kids to know it is unacceptable to not know the correct usage of their, there, and they’re. I want them to realize that “u” as a substitute for “you” is basis for grounding. And I want them to appreciate the written word and have a love for books and imagination that I never found.
What’s on your kid’s summer reading list? Tell us for a chance to win a Summer Reading Prize Pack from the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club!
– Grand Prize ottery Barn Kids’ reading chair and a Marc Jacobs Nylon Tote (for mom!)
– 5 First Prizes: Personalized Pottery Barn Kids’ Beach Tote
- Children’s Book-of-the-Month is now featuring the My Summer Reading Series! Kids receive 2 great books at their door each month all summer. $6.99 a book PLUS a free $25 Restaurant.com gift card! Check out the different book series, find a book you love and tell us the book title in the conversation for an extra entry in the contest!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs June 28 – July 22, 2011. A random winner will be announced July 27, 2011. Official Rules