Summer Reading Mistakes

Saturday, July 13, 2019

I started the summer like most people: optimistic. It didn't help that I listened to different podcasts about readings. I always encourage my children to read. I'm a reader myself. I tell them that readers are leaders and leaders are readers.

Still, I wasn't crazy about the quality of the books they picked for themselves during the school year. I tried to introduce them to different types of literature, which was successful. My plan was to crack it up during the summer and make sure they only read classic works or things I judged to be "good for their brain."

Well, they were not crazy about my suggestions. I wasn't crazy about them either. It turns out, this foreign mother did not grow up reading the American (or the Brazilian) classics. I turned out alright tough. I found some suggestions and I put them on hold. When the books arrived, the kids and I were surprised that they were 400 pages long.

To make matters worse, I wasn't sure if I wanted to make sure they read those classic pieces of literature.

Thankfully, I heard a podcaster suggest that I let my children pick and I let them read in their level or on a level bellow. It's no fun to have to read with a dictionary all the time. After my "wow" moment, I apologized to the kids. I told them about what I learned. I told them that I still wanted them to read one instead of 10 books that I chose (I know, I'm intense) and we will celebrate their reading of that book with a hamburger date for the boys to discuss the book and a tea party for the girls.

Another mistake I made, I committed twice. The first time happened when I tried to read a book that I wanted to read but I couldn't. I'd try for a week or two and then return it. Once I got the audio version, it was easier to listen. I got a book for the kids I really want them to read. It is not happening. I discovered there is an audio version. We are going to get that and enjoy it in the evenings this summer.

I'm glad I made those mistakes because I wouldn't learn the difference otherwise. My mistakes caused me to analyze why I want my children to read. They also made me think about asking the kids why do they think reading is important. Their answers also gave me a good insight into their thoughts on reading. It also opened up conversations about what reading can do.

One thing is for sure: reading is just not a habit that is going to fall out of heaven. I must be intentional about guiding my children in this wonderful journey.

I am grateful that Bible reading is something we all enjoy. We included a few Bible books in our summer reading challenge. It is good for the soul, now and for eternity.