When I was a little girl, my mother would find me with a flashlight under my bedspread reading past my bedtime. I’ve been reading since as long as I can remember – honestly, I can still visualize the pictures in my head of the first book I learned to read by myself. I’m happy to say I’ve passed this passion on to my successful, driven college-age daughter, and am now relishing the sharing sessions with my precious niece who hands me books to read again and again. As summer is upon us, there are many blogs out there divulging how to promote summer reading. I’d like to add mine to the pile with a twist of my personal methods, quirks and habits I use to promote reading in my own home:
~ Walk into my home and you won’t find a room that doesn’t have a book and/or magazine thrown or displayed in it.
~ Every holiday gift collection (Christmas, bday, Easter basket, etc) included books. Books were as exciting to receive as toys. Today, my daughter’s passion for shoes gives books a run for their money but they are still exciting nonetheless.
~ I read every day and made sure I did so in front of my daughter. I write and journal frequently, and bought her journals of her own through the years. Oh the lucky soul who finds my hidden journals someday. 😉
~ Every so often, we’d have “reading sessions.” I’d set up pillows and/or stuffed animals in a circle on the floor. I’d grab my book, my daughter would grab hers, we’d gather in the circle and read to our hearts content. We still have reading sessions on quiet summer evenings – sans the pillow circle these days – just a quiet time on the couch when we’ll both read, stop and share.
~Bi-weekly library check-out visits were treated as special events. I would never put a limit on the number of books we could bring home; we’d always walk out of there with AT LEAST ten books when my girl was little.
~ I’d peruse our local library’s event calendar and be sure to regularly take part in the storytelling sessions.
~ Speaking of the library, my daughter participated in the local library’s summer reading program every year. These programs are an absolutely fabulous way to keep kids learning as the summer rolls along.
~ I’d buy action figures or dolls of favorite characters from books to extend the story engagement.
~ Regular trips to the bookstore were also treated as special events and usually ended with scanning our new treasures over ice cream. Don’t tell my daughter I’m telling you, but she still enjoys taking a trip to our local B & N on late summer evenings with one of her good friends . . . just because. An English teacher-mom dream come true. 🙂
~ Whenever we vacationed or took long trips, we’d bring books for the rides. Reading always makes time fly. Books accompanied us to doctor and dentist visits too. This kept the ants out of our pants waiting for those delayed doctors.
~ Of course, up until she was in her upper teens we’d have, without fail, nightly story time when I would read aloud for about 10 – 20 minutes before bed. I did that literally since she was one day old and wouldn’t give up any of those moments. As both a reading teacher and a parent, I can say this may have been the most significant activity I shared with my child to promote her lifelong journey of reading, learning and discovering.
Happy Reading this summer. Above everything else, just sit back and enjoy the gifts that reading brings us!!