With the kids home these days more than the usual, it takes a little bit more to keep them preoccupied. I have to take them places with me and I honestly hate it when they say, “mom I’m bored,” and default to “can I play on your phone?”
HOW can you be bored. I don’t understand.
I feel like I have zero tolerance when those two phrases came out. Back in my time, I had to find something to keep myself occupied while the grown-ups did their thing, or… I had to sit quietly and read.
Ahhh, reading. Yes! Problem solved.
Besides, we’ve all heard about the “summer slump” right? (Okay fine. I actually didn’t hear of it until recently). So hopefully reading across the summer will help neutralize that.
So, it’s become our default. If you are going to sit and wait, then you need to bring a book to read.
Find something — anything on our shelves, and read it.
Thankfully it hasn’t been much of a problem. Sometimes, it is their default activity of choice. You know how kids are often too quiet and you begin to get nervous about the havoc they’re wreaking upstairs?
I love that they love books. We’re often in Barnes and Noble looking at new books, and participating in their Summer Reading Program. It’s quite a shame though that they only offer one book per child. 🙁
And all these stories have made for some good imaginative play here and there, if I do say so myself.
Over the course of the last school year, Sam’s teacher had what they call a “25-book challenge”, where different genres were given and the kids had to pick different books to read that fell within those genres. Five books were a free choice, and the rest of the 20 books were divided across different genres, from historical non-fiction, to tall tales, to fantasy and science fiction, just to name a few.
It was fun and challenging to choose age appropriate books that fit the genre, and find something that would sustain Sam’s interest enough for her to read it.
I liked the idea of a 25 book challenge that I am trying to use it on the girls this summer. It forces them to broaden their palette, go outside their comfort zone and find something different. It gives us more to talk about because they formulate an opinion about it.
Sam’s teacher had index cards too with questions that needed to be answered — and I like that it taught her about to pay attention to different parts of the story — the plot, the theme, the character development, and even the glossary of terms or other parts of the book. And while I don’t have a deck of cards for them to respond to, I make sure this new “book of choice” is a topic of conversation in the car.
Jamie is still at that stage where she’ll read one part of a series after another (but then after one or two books you get the gist of how it’s all going to go down), but it is still good she likes them, and finds something to fill her “challenge”. Recently, I’ve tried to expand her book choices with some informational ones too.
And so with 6 weeks left until school, I’ve told the girls once again that those two phrases are not allowed at home, and only allowed once in a while out-of-the house. Because as it stands, there’s no excuse not to bring a book (or two) wherever we go.