Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Reading Program

Each summer I try, and I mean try, to structure my kids in what I call "Pioneer School". I orchestrate activities, chores, play days, reading, and school work to keep them entertained and on track so they aren't idle and bored for the summer. I think maybe they're even learning something, but they all deny it as I put them through my organized tactics.

It's traditional to participate in the county library reading program. Sam is 10 years old now. He recently saw the movie "The Indian in the Cupboard" and decided he wanted to read the book, which I was particularly pleased with. But when I mentioned signing up for the library reading program he didn't say much.
As I was driving in the car today, I told Sam we'd be going over to the library to sign up for their reading program and we'd pick up a calendar showing the activities he could participate in during the summer. Sam set in the seat next to me unmoved. I did a double take and could see there was no happy anticipation.

After a moment of thought he finally said, "I don't want to sign up for the library program."

I explained it was the same kind of program he's participated in before. You keep track of your reading for the summer and end up getting prizes for your good work. The activities they present are always fun, interesting, and promote reading on a variety of subjects and books.

My rah-rah library program speech was of little consequence. His attitude was obviously ho hum. He took a deep breath and finally said, "Every year, I end up making a house out of graham crackers, frosting, and candy." [He was referring to an annual activity during the Christmas holiday at the library. There was once enthusiasm about such things.] He added, "I think I'm getting too old for that."

What could I say? I didn't push it. I said, "I guess if you just read everyday on your own at home, we don't have to participate."

He seemed relieved as he took another deep breath and said "Okay."

But I had a touch of sadness go through me as I relinquished my request. I guess he's getting older. Or, I hate to say it, maybe he's more about video games. That's what his older siblings would say who were deprived of such things. Whatever! It's the end of another era. I've been going to the library and participating in their reading programs for the last 30 years - old habits die hard.

We'll still go to the library of course. He'll pick out DVDs and books. Thank goodness he hasn't thrown in the towel on that experience, but I'll miss the graham cracker house, bingo, the puppet shows, magic shows, and animal presentations, etc. Thank goodness I've got grand kids!

"Reading is to the mind
what exercise is to the body."
P.S. Sam read this post and made a point to tell me that he still liked puppet shows, magic shows, and animal presentations. Maybe we'll be participating in library programs more than I think. YEAH!


  1. Maybe I can get Carson to try and read that book too.

  2. Enjoy your summer and all the learning events.

  3. Sad. It's sad to end any era, especially the library reading program era. Your such a good mom. I love this idea. I was going to try for theme days this summer, but I like this idea better. I'm going to see what I can come up with. If you have any other specifics of your pioneer school, I love to hear them.

  4. We ALWAYS did the same thing. My dad is (was) a teacher so always had a summer program for us...and honestly some of my FAVORITE books I ever read were books he picked out (you can tell it didnt help my grammer or spelling any) but it certainly instilled a love for reading!!! I love some of those books. Including indian in the cupboard. We also did the library programs too...those were fun...I remember we'd win an ice cream or something for completing them too.

  5. Poor kid probably just felt sorry for you and decided he could still endure a few of those things! Hahaha! I know what you mean though. My youngest is 14 and it is really sad when you know that certain things are over and I agree....thank goodness we have grandkids!