Lifelong cultivation + str8 bribery
As a librarian this is always on my mind, lol! I would love my kids to read more chapter books but they will really only read them if I read TO them. Otherwise they are happy with graphic novels, but this has also become the summer of MANGA--I am not kidding when I say there are about 80 mangas lying around my house. Thank goodness for wonderful public libraries because otherwise I would be broke trying to get my kids to read!!! (I also read one for the first time on my daughter's recommendation and it was actually pretty strange and good?!)
I also try to cut myself some slack, because I work at a college and I can see how people's reading habits change over time. I've met plenty of students who always felt too busy to read for fun, but then as they are getting ready to graduate will get into it! Or maybe they finally read the one book/author that sparks joy in them and makes them a reader. Some people might only get into reading when they're retired and that's also okay! Life is long, etc :)
FWIW, those homemade goldfish crackers look like shit
I’m convinced summer school reading just ruins the fun of reading for kids. At least, that was my experience growing up. I would read everything EXCEPT what I was required to read.
Agree on the love of reading being somewhat innate. I grew up a reader and I don’t remember anyone around me reading. My mom and my grandmother would let me loose in the kids section of B&N and choose whatever books I wanted, nothing was off limits (except for the amount of books I was allowed to bring home)
I hate that I feel responsible for my kid’s education over the summer. I’m trying to channel 80s summers and just let it go but maybe I’m contributing to the brain drain? My almost 1st grader isn’t reading. Should I be worried? A friend recommended I get a tutor. Is that reasonable for a 5 year old?! Tell me when to worry wise older kid parents.
I hate forcing my kids to read. My son actually loves to read, but only graphic novels and he reads the same Big Nate Books over and over again. Getting him to read an honest-to-God chapter book is impossible, and it's honestly impossible to get him to go beyond Big Nate. He's going in to fifth grade and he's been reading those books for three years at this point.
I know I should be happy he's reading, but I was such a nose-in-a-book kid for years that it doesn't make sense to me.
Also it's really fun when your kid rejects the books you loved as a child. Boxcar Children? Boring. My Side of the Mountain? Boring. Little House on the Prairie? Boring. The Indian in the Cupboard? Boring. Rascal? Boring.
The summer of 1996 was pretty awesome, I have to say
My kid (rising 6th grader) will read graphic novels all day every day over and over again. And anytime she picks up a chapter book, 90% of the time she LOVES it (and her reading ability is off the charts, nothing is actually too hard for her). But she talks herself out of books that aren't graphic novels all the time for some reason. She adored the Wings of Fire graphic novels and whined for 3 years how she wanted to know what happened next and even though all 15 of the novels were staring her in the face at the library with the answer to that question, she wouldn't read them for years. And then she finally did this year and devoured them all in like 2 months. I alternate between reminding myself that any reading is good reading and after all as a kid I drove my mother crazy by reading nothing but Nancy Drew books for 4 years straight and I turned out great AND trying to find ways, ANY WAY, to make her pick up a chapter book that I KNOW she will absolutely adore. Sigh. It's not that I'm worried about her ability to read or understand complex material, it's that I'm mad at all the AMAZING books there are out there that's she's missing out on!
Have had some success with a mother/daughter book club or situations where I read the book she recommends for me and she reads a book I rec for her! Plus, reading picnics, wildly supporting any and all series she gets into, we still read a book out loud together nightly, etc. So, work in progress.
My rising 6th grader devours any assigned books in school, but is completely uninterested in reading at home (save for Class Trip, and that is because he read New Kid in school.) We do listen to a lot of audiobooks in the car, but they are mostly non fiction (A Taste For Poison was so greatly enjoyed he requested a hard copy of the book 'for reference.') He listens to enough podcasts and watches enough non-fiction content that I am not stressed. My almost 16 year old was a voracious reader until about 6th grade, when he suddenly stopped - a visit to our pediatric ophthalmologist uncovered an eye problem that required vision therapy to make reading tolerable.
Here to agree with the 'read before screens' and 'morning routine poster' moms, because that's what I did. The key for us was setting the rule before we bought the device (my kids are older, the device was a Nintendo DS, given as we set out on a long car trip). Their school had the standard of reading 20 minutes a day for reading logs, so that's what we went with.
The routine was: homework done, 20 minutes of reading done, go on your DS or the shared family computer. On the weekends, still 20 minutes of reading. And during summer vacation, yes, about 15 minutes of workbook work depending on the day, 20 minutes of reading, then screens.
Both kids started out as readers (my son taught himself to read in pre school to be like his sister, his kindergarten teacher was like yeah right until he read for her) my daughter continued easily, my son reached those middle school years where it was pulling teeth. As they are college students, I can no longer tell them to read, and they don't. But I hold out hope for the future!
and for the record i think kids should just have the summer off...no need to torture anyone....
thank you for this! I keep wanting to be chill and have my kids just love reading naturally (one is a reader, the other one not so much, but they'd still always always pick any kind of screen over a book) so it's actually really helpful to be reminded that it's okay to be a bit more authoritarian about it.
I also want to gripe very quickly about the summer work they were given--in summers past, it was a workbook, it was kind of rote and boring, but it was very clear. this year, they're supposed to be writing--but what? how much? in what kind of thing? will it be collected? who knows. it's all incredibly vague. as a writer and writing teacher, I can probably figure out, but the total lack of structure and direction is annoying.
Assigned summer reading isn't a thing in Canada (or maybe it is but not in my part? big country). I wasn't going to post until something happened yesterday.
I got excited my son had chapter books out but then found out from Dad that he was trying to use them to hold down a space bar to keep Roblox from logging him out on the laptop while he did other stuff.
My kids like to read but they don't want to do the reports--and who would? It's summer! I wish schools would assign the books and leave the writing for when the semester starts! A friend told me it's actually ILLEGAL (lol) for schools to require work over the summer so if you're truly free maybe let the kid decide if they want to do it. I am too much of a goody goody for that.
Serious question: what happens of your kid doesnt do the summer reading and reports?
Thanks for making me sound so much better (saner, calmer, less salty) than I actually am, Claire 😂 I appreciate this, and of course, you!
i’m the one with older kids...i LOVE to read...like the stay up all night with a good book, read three books easily in a week on vacation type of reader. one of my favorite things was to read to my kids...n of 4 here. oldest, liked to be read to, reads what he needs to but now at 18 all the sudden buying books on his own! with his own money!! second, loved to be read to, still read to him, but doesn’t read on his own the way i wish he would but i have faith...ahhh the third...this kid when he had to read for school would literally stop in the middle of a word when the 20 min was up...i have tried everything, i read to him, tried every genre, etc, etc., he is just not a reader...he does fine in school so i just gave up honestly (he is 14 yo)...the girl, who is 11 yo wants to read books way above her maturity level and i’m not sure what to do with that...want her to read but 😬😬😬...i’ll keep you posted