Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Summer Reading

One of my favorite things about summers with the kids is the extended reading time we enjoy. Since moving to Pennsylvania four years ago, we have become regular patrons of the public library. We are there at least every two weeks, often weekly.

Last summer, I came up with a new routine for bedtime. It took me an hour (gulp!), but the kids and I really enjoyed it. I would read to all three of them for fifteen minutes, and then take fifteen minutes to read with each child alone.

This year, I am cutting out the group read. I'll still read picture books and short chapter books to them during the day, but I hope to read longer, more challenging books with each of them during our time each night. So what to read? Of course, the school district publishes summer reading lists, and those books disappear from the library shelves first. A couple of weeks ago, I found a book at (surprise!) the library called What to Read When by Pam Allen. It's full of lists of great books to read aloud to your kids. She also gives interesting information on how children learn to read and why it's so important to read with them.

With Caroline, I am reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Caroline has already seen the movie (which disappoints me a little--I always like to read the book first), but she sure does love snuggling up to me while I read to her.
Caitlin and I are reading The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. In fact, she read a chapter to me last night. That was fun.
And Bobby wasn't feeling well last night, so we read No, David! together. He and I are going to finish one that we had started about a month ago and set aside: Tucker's Countryside by George Selden. It's the second in a series (the first is The Cricket in Times Square), and he seems to enjoy it. What's not to love about a cricket, a mouse and a cat who are friends?

And Mama's working on a couple of books (since I can't seem to find any time to sew or knit). On our trip, I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's pretty good, but I had put it down to start Persuasion by Jane Austen. I decided that I'm reading too many books about characters who read Jane Austen. I should just go to the source myself. As luck would have it, the copy of Pride and Prejudice that I had sworn I had in the basement is gone, and the library was all out of copies, so I grabbed Persuasion.

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