Today’s post is written by Robin Leon, a fellow book mama.
It was day one of summer vacation, and I’d already blown it.
During the last weeks of school, my son’s teacher had made some vague but terrifying comments about avoiding “summer brain drain,” and I had vowed that no such academic slide would be happening at our house. Not on my watch.
“This summer,” I had declared, from atop my high-horse, “we will read for 20 minutes, EVERY day.”
Yet here we were, 24 hours into summer break, smelling of chlorine, fingers sticky with ice cream, desperate for bedtime . . . but without a single page turned or chapter tackled.
“This summer,” I declared, a bit less solemnly, “we will read for 20 minutes, MOST days.”
We needed a plan. Our family loves a good hook – some sort of gimmick to get the ball rolling on a new project or process . . . a spoonful of sugar and all that.
So, I dug out a mason jar – that nouveau-hipster craft cocktail phase was good for something – wrote some “reading-y” things on slips of paper, and voila! Our family’s half-ass summer reading program was born.
Most days, we take turns picking a slip of paper from the “Summer Reading” jar. A few favorites:
- Take-a – turn reading . . . you read a page, your grown up reads a page, repeat
- Silent reading
- Find some shade, and read outside
- Read to your grown up
- Read in a pillow fort
- Listen to an audio book
- Read a nonfiction book
- Read a story and talk about how you would change the ending
- Read with a flashlight
- Ask your grown up to read to you
- Read to a friend or relative via Facetime
- Read in someone else’s bed
And yes, perhaps I put in a few extra slips that say “Read to your own dang self while mama speed reads the juicy bits of Sweetbitter.”
Sue me – it’s summer.
Robin Leon is a native Texan living in Washington, D.C. Robin works for an Au Pair agency and enjoys helping young people from all over the world experience their American dream. She loves books, international travel, and spending time with her husband and young son, not necessarily in that order.