It’s summer and for me that always brings the feeling of freedom! I remember the last day of school, especially, the last day of BYU, on graduation day, thinking, “Now I can read whatever I want!” The above picture shows my daughter on the left with my two nieces on a lazy summer vacation holiday in Park City. It was probably around midnight when after the excitement of watching the USA Women’s Gymnastics team win gold, I finally got them to bed, after they read stories to each other.
I am planning on getting my kids to read a ton this summer by bribing them. I know bribing probably isn’t approved by Charlotte Mason and other child education purists, but Charlotte Mason never had any of her own kids to supervise when she wanted to relax. So I take everything she wrote with a grain of salt. Forget waiting for one of my kids to catch fire about reading on his own without bribes. I’ve got one kid who, at 9 years old, loves to read and already reads 2 or 3 novels a week. Then on the other hand her brother is still trudging through the same book he’s been reading since February. Hopefully the bribe will get him reading more.
Here are some reading challenges and/or lists I am using to find ideas on what to get my kids to read.
1. Redeemed Reader’s Summer 2014 Reading Challenge. Redeemed Reader is a totally awesome blog with recommended books for Christian parents and their kids. The blog creators aren’t doing a challenge this year, but you can use last year’s challenge as a list for ideas. Basically it’s six weeks of books picked for kids and teens, with some audio files of a guy who offers a Biblical Christian worldview for the books.They also have some charts for encouraging your family to read either 50 books or 100 books.
2. Jenny Phillips’ Summer Reading Program. You pay about 12 bucks to sign up each kid, and for each level the kid reaches in the program, the child gets a reward from Jenny’s site. I don’t think my little kids would be motivated by the prizes she is offering, but I am thinking of paying 5 bucks just to get the book list.
3. My 17 year old son’s best friend Jacob has a Louis L’amour Reading Challenge. He challenges us all to read for at least 1 hour a day. He is making it a competition where people can enter in their current number of pages read. At the end of each month whoever has the most pages read will get prizes!
Instead of the words, “No more teachers, no more books!” I feel like singing, “No more teachers, just fun books!“
4. Here’s a Book of Mormon reading challenge that my dear friend Becky Edwards is doing. The goal is to read the Book of Mormon all through the summer. If you do six pages a day you can finish in 90 days.
Here are some more fun resources to help with the challenges:
The Friend magazine, a children’s magazine published by the LDS Church, has book reviews every so often. Here is a link to some of them, with a sample page here. It seems like these reviews come out in the June and November issues, but I could be wrong on that.
Montesserrat, of cranialhiccups.com, has some colorful aids to motivate kids to read:
Happy reading to all! Remember, readers are leaders!