Summer Reading (and maybe a little Math)

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One of my goals is to instill a love of reading in my children. My mother took us to the library weekly through the summers. Each time we checked out large stacks of books which we rapidly plowed through, and then went back for more. When we weren’t reading we played in the backyard or with kids from the neighborhood. Many afternoons were spent at Chism Beach on Lake Washington – we loved that place.

An incredible thing has happened; my youngest children are now a readers. Additionally, Bee and Dimples have become fabulous readers too. It’s caught them both by surprise.

As summer approached, I dreamed up all kinds of elaborate reading programs. In the end I did what I do best – kept it simple. I printed out blank calendar pages and let Sunshine fill them in. Each square is divided in half, the upper part to check off Bible reading (15 minutes) and the lower half to check off fun reading (30 minutes). When the square is checked off, they put a star on it.

How’s that for simple?

I should add, the kids are having a great time reading The Action Bible, which is illustrated in the style of a comic book. I know some people may think it devalues God’s Word; my opinion is that if it causes my children to love reading the Word, and gives them a greater grasp of the scope of the greatest Story ever, it’s a good tool. You can see a link for it below.

I still plan to read aloud to them in the mornings, and Russ reads aloud at bedtime. More importantly, I plan to sit down and read while they do. Honestly, they see me spend far more time on the computer than they do with a book in my hands. That is not the example I want to set.

Oh – and a couple of small motivators, no computer time can be earned until reading is completed. My kids can earn up to 30 minutes a day with good behavior. I’m ambivalent about that because all in all, I think it hinders their creativity and distracts them from more productive play. I’m sorely tempted to say “no computer” for the summer – maybe I will.

There is a promise of treats for completed weeks/months on the reading charts. I haven’t figured this out yet, but ice cream cones and fun outings come to mind.

Lingering in the back of my mind is a goal to have the boys master their multiplication facts…we’ll see how ambitious I am about that come July. Any great tips on how to make that happen?

How do you encourage your children to read?

Some of the books we’re reading:

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Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Lisa McNamara
    May 22, 2014

    Thanks for the reading encouragement. It's so easy to drop the ball in the summer, but so much better to continue on reading aloud and silently. Did you grow up in Bellevue? We may have crossed paths at the Bellevue library or Chism beach in the summer……I have good memories of both!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 22, 2014

      Lisa, I lived in Bellevue up through 4th grade and then moved to the very small town of Buckley through high school. We loved Chism Beach and I've often thought about taking my kids sometime, but I'm afraid it will never live up to my childhood memories. Is it still a public beach?

      Reply
      1. Lisa McNamara
        May 22, 2014

        Yes, it is still a public beach. What elementary school did you attend? My husband and I both went to Clyde Hill.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          May 22, 2014

          Woodridge – a very long time ago!

          Reply
  2. Cheryl
    May 22, 2014

    We are finally mastering multiplication facts with 'Extra Math' the free online program. It works!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 22, 2014

      I'll definitely take a look at that, Cheryl. Thanks!

      Reply
    2. DFNY
      May 22, 2014

      Cheryl, I googled it and see that it's called "xtramath". Thanks for the info; we will definitely try it out.
      https://xtramath.org/

      Damaris

      Reply
  3. Kim
    May 22, 2014

    This would not help your kids stay of the computer, but my kids love Times Attacks Math computer game to practice/hone their multiplication tables. However, they learned the tables well initially by learning to skip-count them to easy, well-known tunes. i.e. The sevens are sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques" Elevens are sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it" etc.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 22, 2014

      Thanks, Kim! I don't mind using the computer for productive things – so we'll check it out. Skip counting has been great for my boys too!

      Reply
  4. Laurel
    May 22, 2014

    Love it! Great ideas! I try to take my kids to the library weekly, too. Our library has a great children's wing and my kids love to pick out their own books. Having a steady cycle of new books rotating through keeps them interested in reading. And it's free!

    Reply
  5. Kate
    May 23, 2014

    We used a CD by a children's artist called Don Spencer. They were/are energetic songs with catchy tunes and can also include active "actions" for those who like to move while learning.
    We once used the CD on a very long vacation drive and while I think my parents were over the songs even the youngest knew the words (if not the meaning, she was 3).

    Reply
  6. Jenny Covey Story
    May 24, 2014

    I'm trying your reading calendar idea. Printed out my calendars and ready to roll. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  7. Lisap
    June 16, 2014

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing

    Reply

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