Ready for Summer Reading?

Today is the last day of school for Declan. It’s kind of bittersweet because the teacher that has been with him and his classmates for two years won’t be moving up to 4th grade. She really thought about it, she loves these kids, but she also knows she will love her new kids now entering 3rd grade, and decided to stay where her strengths are.

And her strengths are definitely 2nd and 3rd grade – and definitely getting these kids engaged.

Sure, in a lot of ways my kid is still lazy, and in a lot of ways, that is 100% my fault – but over the last two years, we have watched his interests bloom.

Because he loves reading.

Because she has encouraged their reading.

She read them an abridged version of Dracula, and they were all talking about it for months.

She got them interested in Shakespeare. And I am not talking the 10 Things I Hate About You version of Shakespeare. I mean real language, real themes, real interest. One of her 3rd graders had a lead role in Julius Caesar this year, and didn’t flub one line.

Sure, Declan still reads Calvin & Hobbes (OK, mostly in the potty). But he also reads Little House on the Prairie and Ron Dahl and yes, he asked to buy the full version of Dracula with his own money.

He. loves. reading.

We know he will continue reading over the summer, and wanted ways to overcome *our* laziness about it. Luckily PBS Kids and iVillage have a free online program to help us stay on track.

I also feel lucky that I first met Angela Santomero through social media, then in person at the Mom 2.0 conference, and I now consider her a friend. She is the online coach to the program, which makes me feel like there will be an extension of Declan’s amazing experiences at school coming to him through his computer.

PBS Kids and iVillage sent me some literacy kits for Declan’s friends and we hosted a summer reading kick-off party last weekend. You could tell the kids were antsy to play outside, partly because the weather here in Denver has been like living in a monsoon for over a month, but again – partly – it *IS* the end of the school year right?

But when we brought out the books that Scholastic had sent as part of the program? They were *just* as excited.

Which tells me we’re on to something.

Blogger disclosure: PBS Kids, iVillage and Scholastic sent books, literacy kits and party supplies for this event. All other expenses were assumed by me because READING ROCKS!

This article has 10 comments

  1. Meghann

    My dad has always been a firm believer that Calvin and Hobbes is GREAT for reading, and I agree. That’s what got my oldest to actually enjoy reading. The language is pretty advanced too. That son is now reading through the Harry Potter series. (He’s more than halfway through book 4!)

    Lindsay is my bookworm. She just finished all of the Ramona books, Island of the Blue Dolphin, and Stuart Little. She reads anything I let her get her hands on.

    I have found one difficulty though. There are SO many books I want to share with her, but I have to show restraint so I don’t overwhelm her. Lol!

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I hear you – Declan has a HUGE bookcase in his room filled with books he has yet to read!

  3. Angelina

    Yay reading! Mine love books, too. I have this weird fixation with that new book feel. I just love it!

  4. Connie Weiss

    How fun!

    I’m going to check out that reading program now.

    Just starting to teach my kids and we’re having a blast reading book!

  5. Everyfann

    My little one LOVES Little House on the Prairie too! It makes me SO nostalgic!

  6. Kim Hosey

    How freaking awesome.

    I was going to give props to Calvin and Hobbes too. There’s more to it than meets the eye at first. Smart readers catch on, so I’m sure Declan has.

    David has two stuffed-full bookcases, and piles throughout the house. (I might be a bad example on the piles-of-books thing.) For his last-day-of-school, your-grades-rock gift yesterday, we gave him two more books. Like 500-pagers. He was thrilled.

  7. Chris Soukoulis

    I was online checking out different blogs and came across yours, I felt compelled to comment and tell you how informative and very well written it is !! Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more soon !!

  8. Amber

    Such a blast–thanks for coordinating, dearie!

  9. J at

    Calvin and Hobbes ROCKS. No question.

    I love reading…and I once heard on NPR, that if you want your kids to love reading, let them read whatever they want to read…even if it’s a magazine about cars. Whatever. Just go with it.

    My daughter loves to read. Stopped opening gifts at her birthday once to read a poem from “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, which was awesome.

    She’s not as into it in her teen years, which I hate. I hope that once the literature gets a bit better, she’ll get back into it.

  10. Kyria

    That’s really cool! I love reading. It is good that your son had good teachers — both in you AND the elementary teacher. It makes all the difference in the world!

    PS did you make that photo border on the video? How fun!

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