That my kids are truly no longer babies anymore.
Excuse me while I go weep a bit.
Ok, better now.
Anyway, with the end of school comes summer vacation. I'm lucky enough to have kids who LOVE being outside as much as possible. And parents with a pool. The pool thing during the summer? Total life and sanity saver.
The real problem over the summer comes when the weather outside doesn't want to cooperate and let my kids run around and get all their energy out. Now comes the question of what to do to keep them from driving me crazy while I'm working. This is were our local library comes in. (Yay for local libraries!!)
Our library, along with most public libraries in the country, host a summer reading program. They have a theme for the year (this year it's Fizz, Boom, Read - science-based) and prizes for completing the program. Typically the rules are to read six books, at least two dealing with the year's theme, and write about them in a special journal. The kids get credit for every book read (our library gives them raffle tickets to enter for different prizes for each book) and they get entered for a grand prize when they finish all their books. Last year this included entry into a raffle for tickets to a special baseball game with the added bonus of a chance to win a trip to Disney. Talk about incentive.
Along with keeping the kids busy reading during rainy days, the programs usually include special events. To kick-off our summer program, the library has a Magic Scientist (Scientific Magician?) coming in. They also have star-gazing and other events throughout the summer.
Even better? They have and ADULT summer reading program. That's right, I get extra rewards for doing what I always do --- read. Upon inspection of the calendar, I discovered part of our program includes a CSI-style event to learn about forensics. (Guess where I'll be that day.)
So, I know it's tough to keep kids reading once the final school bell rings, but programs like these make it easier. Plus, when they head back to school in the fall getting them back into homework routine will be marginally easier. Who knows? Maybe after a while they'll prefer picking up a book to picking up a remote...at least part of the time.