This morning I heard a piece on NPR where they briefly discussed whether kids should be encouraged to read so much in the summer.
My immediate thoughts: "WHAT? Of course they should be encouraged to read! What are you talking about?" "Is this a joke?--It has to be." Calming down and listening.
The argument for not pushing reading during the summer was that because it was summer. Kids should be out playing, exploring, communing with nature and what not. Sure I agree with that. But are you telling me that they will be doing this every minute that they're awake? Are there 20-30 minutes each day that could be set aside for reading? Yes!!!
My daughter is only two, so I realize that I don't yet have to deal with carting her to different activities, doing homework, and then finding time to read during the school year. I don't know what that's like, but I'm hoping that the emphasis we put on reading now will translate into a the importance of reading during the entire year. I hope that she'll see the summer as an opportunity to get some more reading done because she isn't as busy.
There were others who commented with the same opinion as I did, but I was just shocked by what I heard from people who are well-educated, and who actually work in education even. It made my heart hurt a little. I in no way advocate for keeping your kids inside all summer, reading for hours on end. Even I can't do that and I LOVE reading. But encouraging it, even requiring 20-30 minutes a day isn't going to ruin your summer fun. And if you have a really busy day and it's fun and exciting and you're really just basking in the loveliness of your family and summer, then skip it a day. But summer reading will not ruin your child's summer. It might even help them come fall.
Oh and when I say summer reading, I mean student selected reading. Whatever they want. A magazine? The newspaper? Some articles about motorcycles, basketball, camping, fashion, celebrities? Go with it and encourage it. It's reading.
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