As a kid, I don’t think my parents really knew about the value of the local library or even that we had one in our city. I had to of been maybe 8 or 9 years old when our neighbor’s mom took me, with her and her son (who was my best friend that lived across the street from us), to the library. I was completely unaware this library existed until then. My friend had always had an appreciation for reading, something I never did have as a kid. His mom had taken him to sign up for their Summer Reading program. I thought it was a very mature thing to do as a kid.
He signed up and had his own library card and everything. I don’t quite remember how it came about, but somehow I wound up being able to sign up for the program too using their address as my own. I thought it was the coolest thing. Unfortunately, my parents, like I said, weren’t really into that scene and I never made it back to the library that summer. I didn’t know why that situation stuck out to me growing up, but here I am 24 years later signing up my kids every summer [since we moved to where we are now] for the Summer Reading Program.
I think kids generally want to learn everything. Naturally a lot of learning can come from reading. Some kids, like I once was, can really struggle with certain aspects of reading. The struggles, if not seen and addressed, may make it extremely likely that the child winds up evolving a distaste for it altogether. This then creates a learning difficulty and possibly even setbacks academically. That is what happened with me, even though it went entirely unnoticed by adults.
Knowing what I do about DNA, I know there is a very good probability that my kids may struggle in the same manners as I did. I have already seen the struggles in my oldest who is turning 9 tomorrow. When we finally got the ADHD diagnosis, I knew that meant he would get the extra help that I never did. Teachers are more likely to pay attention and cater that need of his to help him successfully learn. I knew how it felt to have struggles with reading and comprehension. I don’t want my kids to harbor negative feelings about reading the way that I wound up having simply for unnoticed issues.
So every summer we sign up! The kids love our library. They are always excited to pick out books to their hearts content. We keep track of their minutes of reading and when they hit the program’s guidelines for their age group, they get a goody bag of things; usually including free meal coupons to places like Runza.
Now that it is June, the Summer Reading Program has started! We went today to sign up and pickup some books. I always tend to want to take everything home and grab far more than what we will actually get through in a months time. I thought it would be fun to share and maybe give some inspiration to books that we have loved already and books we are trying out this Summer.
Side note. I have been feeling like my kid’s need a little more historical literature this year. So I did pickup several historical/educational books this time around.
Books My Kids Love
Books My Kids Picked Out This Summer
My 2 youngest [3 and 5] picked these
My oldest  picked these
We will see what they actually get through! Did you do the summer reading programs as a kid? Do you have any favorite books you read as a child? Let us know!