Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers summertime Uncategorized

Library Time!! (Summer Tip #2)

So, last week I mentioned that I would share some tips for #RaisingReaders during the summer, so the progress that you guys have made in step with teachers all year doesn’t go to waste.  You can see that original tip here. My second tip is to take some time this summer to explore your local library.

There are obvious reasons for this suggestion, first and foremost being–its free! Summers can be long, “boredom” (yeah, I put it in quotes because let’s be real, its often not real boredom) can set in quickly, and before you know it, you’re spending dollar after dollar for their entertainment. I mean, I just spent $50 at the movies today for me and my 2 to see the Captain Underpants movie, and we cannot afford for that to happen on a regular basis. We can afford however, to spend $0 at the library for the same length of time as the 90 minute movie. Not only is the library free, unlike the park, which is also free, its air conditioned. And even for those of you who don’t live within the city limits of your local library, its still free to sit in the library and enjoy a book.

Secondly, there are SO many options at the library! Maybe your child has outgrown the books they have on their shelf, or maybe they’re just tired of them. Take them to the library, and there’s hundreds of books they can choose from. Is your child into dinosaurs? There’s books at the library for them. Stories about princesses? Got those too. Historical fiction? Yep. Books about teen angst? Tons of them. Books for you about dealing with teen angst?–got those too.

Now I do suggest to try to make a plan when it comes to going to the library, otherwise, if your kids are anything like mine, they will wander around the library aimlessly for a good chunk of the summer. And by make a plan, I mean simply asking, “So, what kinds of books do you think you want to check out this time?” on the way to library. Also, when in doubt, have your child talk to the librarian, they can usually steer them in the right direction.

Lastly, most public libraries usually have some sort of summer reading programming for the summer, which can include incentives for reading books like trinkets and stickers, as well as activities, such as crafts or guests like magicians. I would suggest looking into what your local library has to offer.


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Here’s our library’s summer booklet. My kids are excited with all the options inside.



Story times are also popular at libraries during the summer.

So, the next time you hear, “I’m bored, can we go to the movies?”, for the 40th time, try steering the car towards the library instead of the movie theater. (Did I mention I spent $50?)



Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

One of the good things about a graphic novel…

A couple of weeks ago, we went to my daughter’s school to their Scholastic Spring Book Fair. Because of my own addiction to books, as well as my children’s odd understanding that money grows on trees, I had warned both of them ahead of time that they were to “pick out one book, and if I feel like I like you, you might get two”.  I tell them this because in my head if they select the one book that is $20 (which they are likely to do, because they don’t even look at the prices), then they won’t be getting another, but, if they decide on one of the 50 books that are only $2.99 (which they are least likely to do), then they can get another.

‘Cause I’m a sucker, they both ended up with two books (as did I, and even Dad got one!). One of the books that my daughter got was the second book in The Babysitters Club series, The Truth About Stacey.  It’s a great series, one that I also loved as a child, but now, the books are in graphic novel format, so they look completely different.


The good thing about this is, as with most graphic novels, they are more visually appealing, but in this case, still telling the same classic stories. The bad thing about this is, there’s a lot less text, so she was done with the book by the time she woke up in the morning! Now, we already know I was concerned about them trying to deplete my bank account, so the fact that she was done with a chapter book within 24 hours of getting it had to have me on the verge of a heart attack, right?

Actually no. Here’s the thing, although my child finished the book rather quickly, I know that’s not the last time she’ll read it. She actually picked it up again the next day. And this is not the first time she’s done this, she rereads books all the time. Weird hunh?  I mean, although graphic novels didn’t exist when I was her age, when it comes to chapter books, I was in graduate school before I read a book a second time through, and it was only because the professor made me. Now once I did it, I absolutely found the value in it and promote it all the time…at work. There are SO many benefits of rereading, too many to share, many of them you can find here. But I can’t take the credit for it at home, or can I?

I mean, do you know how many times I’ve read The LoraxBringing the Rain to Kapati Plain, or whatever that book was about Dora becoming a princess? Maybe reading the same book repeatedly had some effect? Maybe. Sorta. Hopefully.

I think it is more likely due to the fact that in this case, a graphic novel is much like a picture book, so it doesn’t feel as labor intensive when she decides to pick it up again. Either way, my hope is that she still has that habit when she’s in her graduate program and her professor makes her do it.

I’m sure, just like I’ve read the same books OVER and OVER, you’ve done the same in your quest to raise children who enjoy books. So, next time you want to roll your eyes when they pull out that book for you to read for the 100th time, go ahead and roll them, but remember, it just may establish a good reading behavior, help them out AND stretch your dollar in the long run.