Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Summer School - What Do You Want to Learn This Summer?

Wow! Only 10 weeks until school starts! You had better get moving if you're going to learn anything this summer. What? You don't want to learn this summer? You think this is the time when your brain goes on vacation? Good luck with that - don't give in to Hulu's mandate to turn your mind into mush!

Reading is probably the most efficient way to keep that thinking muscle of ours in good shape. You can do it anywhere, no special equipment needed, low cost, and personalized.

Area libraries and bookstores are hosting summer reading clubs with incentives to get our kids to read over the summer, but you can do this at home and skip the cheap plastic knick knacks that break before you get them home.

When I was growing up, my mom encouraged us to read a book every 2 weeks - the reward? A candy bar of our choice. Now I realize that may not sound like much of a motivator, but for me, getting a Hershey bar of my own that I didn't have to share with one of my four other siblings was gold!

The best part of this was that my mom read too. She spent individual time with each of us to talk about what we'd read. I really looked forward to those "book talks." This habit followed us well into adulthood. One of my sisters and I found that we had the same taste in fiction as our mom did. We'd read the same book and then get on the phone and talk about it. I really miss those days. I miss my mom. . .

For two of my siblings, reading for pleasure was not something they liked to do. My mom solved that by reading aloud to them both from a novel. It took longer, but I still have memories of seeing my mom reading to my brother and sister who at 11 and 12 sprawled out on her bed listening to the soothing cadence of her voice.

Whatever it takes - just read!

Let's begin - go to the library - in these difficult financial times borrowing is preferable over buying books - pick something, just make sure it's fiction. No magazines. No "how to" books. Then start reading....set aside just 30 minutes a day...if you do more, that's fine, but commit to at least 30 minutes of silent reading a day.

Then come back and report on what you read. Let us know if you think it's worth our time to read too.