it’s (almost) summer. and that means it’s time for the summer reading program! are your little ones signed up yet? we were at the library on the first day. and we weren’t the only ones either! i’ve done summer reading with Jordan and Morgan and Taylor, with Garrett and Gracie, and now with Trev and Mabel. i just love it.

as the librarian was explaining the rules to us, she said that any time with a book counted for a child Mabel’s age–she mentioned chewing on the book or scooting it around on the floor. M has been known to chew her some book, but she also spends considerable time on her own looking at pictures, turning pages, telling herself the story. we found her a few nights ago laying on her belly with her chin in her hand, reading. she looked just like what a kid is supposed to look like! we have books around and we read a fair amount ourselves, but she has a love for books that is her own.

of course, the summer reading program, with its trips to Disneyland and free school supplies, raises the whole issue of rewarding children for doing things that really are rewards in themselves. reading easily falls into that category. but i really don’t think that the rewards are going to stop up her own drive to read. i think it’s a fun little extra. it’s an external way for me to see just how much time we’re spending in the books. it spurs me on to be more conscious about sharing books with the little. last year i remember some long summer afternoons spent reading with Trevor and Mabel expressly because we were trying to finish up a level on their reading logs. but it was a good way to spend time none the less. (on a somewhat related parenting note…how old does a child need to be before she is on the computer? how much screen time should a child have? what’s your experience?)

libraries are such wonderful places to share with our children. i hope that this summer is full of memorable books for each of you. i for one could use a good novel!

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