This kind of thing makes me crazy. I followed a tweet to this link, presumably giving reading lists and tips to keep kids reading through the summer. Something I could get behind, and share with my readers, I thought. So what heads the page but the following dire warning:
MOMS & DADS, your kid could fall TWO YEARS BEHIND IN SCHOOL this summer!
Aaaah! What the….? Is that kind of drama necessary to get people to read your book suggestions?!
(Which I might add, seem cobbled from lists of Newbery award-winners and classics, with the blog author’s own books slyly inserted amongst and in between.)
A study is cited, but something tells me that there’s also a study somewhere about how students can get back up to speed in the fall, and presumably remember where they were in their reading.
Living in a high pressure kind of city, I am all-too-used to crazy marketing like this. I get countless brochures in my mailbox for private schools, tutors, summer camps, all trying to instill fear in me that I’m not working my child hard enough over the summer. Why should children get to take it easy and stop thinking for two whole months??
Umm, because it’s summer?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for summer reading, and will do my best to encourage it. What I won’t do is set a goal of x number of books for the summer, and establish a daily quota of pages to read to get to that goal, as this site recommends. A perfect way to suck the joy out of an activity!
(And I’m not doing it to myself, either. No “you must read these books before you die” or motivational reading lists for me.)
Summer is a time for unregulated thinking, extracurricular daydreaming, and blessed downtime. Keep books handy, sure, wander into the library from time to time, and be a role model (carve out quiet reading time for yourself), but don’t stress out or they will too. As in don’t be a bummer. Chill.