I was reading a journal the other day when my daughter came in the room.
“What are you reading?” She asked.
“A magical book,” I said.
Having watched the entire Harry Potter series, she was intrigued and curious. “How do you know it’s magical?”
I covertly flipped to the center pages of the book and held it up for her to see.
Emblazoned across the pages were the words: I AM MAGIC.
Her jaw nearly hit the floor.
The Magic of Books
I believe all books are magical ( some more so that others)- miniature Tardis- creations that are far bigger on the inside, and contain the ability to take you back in time, across space and into the wildest adventures- fictional and real.
Summer vacation is upon us and it is so easy to lose your kids to video games and YouTube. Last summer I implemented the 30 minute daily read. It was a time when all electronics had to be switched off and physical books had to be read (reading on a tablet is too temptingly close to Cut The Rope or Temple Run). I joined the kids in our daily read. We used books from home or the library. My son swept through numerous books last summer and was able to take the AR (Accelerated Reader) tests on them once he started school (this made a most favorable impression on his Language Arts teacher!)
Getting Kids Psyched Over Reading
- Let them pick the books they will read. You can, however, offer suggestions. Something related to a subject they love (ie horses) or a movie or TV Show (Scooby Doo was my daughter’s fave for a while after the Princess era).
- Offer an incentive- after every book or after so many books (a day at the beach perhaps?)
- Barnes and Nobles run a reading challenge every summer. Pick up a form from them, have your children read, fill out the form and return it to the store when they are done. In return, they receive a free book (they have a selection to choose from on the form).
- The Public Library (Children’s section) offers a summer reading challenge. Again, your child must fill in the book log and take it back to the library. Our library offers prizes each week with a party at the end of the summer. Check out the Summer Reading Program in your local Library. They also tend to offer summer programs (zoo talks with live animals, magic shows, plays, Lego- build-offs- and popular kid movies) all for free.
The Daily Read
So find a time in the day- when everyone is home- if your children have a set bedtime, just before is good, but I find that very difficult in summer when the days are long and the fireflies are calling- so we hit the 3:00 mark- sometimes later, when the daily torrential rains, hurricane winds and lightning bolts that Dr. Frankenstein would envy, hit our Florida tropical locale. 30 minutes of quiet reading. (please note that the parent/caregiver must partake in the daily read as well for this to work- lead by example) I set a timer and we all sit in the same room and just….read.
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