(I’m almost undoubtedly preaching to the choir here.)
This post is for teachers and parents especially. We model by our behavior every day. One reason I have read so many books stems from my childhood. My mother read incessantly. If I have one preeminent memory of mom, it’s mom sitting in the recliner in the corner reading her latest book. The TV might or might not be on in the background. I might be reading too. If I wanted to check nine books out from the library, she supported me. She always had a stack herself.
Libraries have summer reading programs for those whose schedules and locations permit; I encourage my busy parental counterparts to call their local library tomorrow to find out what they need to do to get their kids involved. If that summer reading program option doesn’t exist, libraries often sell older books in addition to those available for check-out. Thrift stores sell books. The internet offers books for all interests and ages. When you are getting those books for your kids, treat yourself to at least a few new books as well.
Eduhonesty: The kids have mostly gone home for the summer now and the learning loss from summer vacation has been well-documented. Regular reading can staunch those academic losses. With planning, children can even enter school in the fall ahead of where they left off, at least in terms of language development. For math, a summer class might be needed or just fun math practice with the family.
Kids will say, “I read all the time on my phone.” Or “I can just use the computer.” Nothing replaces a good book, though. For one thing, editors have reviewed published books. The spelling and grammar can mostly be trusted. For another, a book represents a real time commitment. Young adult and adult books usually require hours to read and America’s kids desperately need to develop and practice the concentration necessary to finish a paperback or hardback. Our kids too often struggle to sit and pay attention in school nowadays. Sitting and reading helps reinforce behaviors that help students in the classroom.
Our kids benefit when we model reading and read with them. Why not find a silent reading time for the summer, a time when parents and children can read together for 45 minutes or an hour, maybe followed by a treat and a short, semi-impromptu book discussion? Readers mostly succeed in school. Nonreaders mostly don’t. A summer of books may be the greatest gift we can give our children.