I always feel a bit like a jerk for not signing the boys up for the library’s summer reading programs (the one for pre-readers is for the parents to read to them). I often take the forms home in June, but when I’m asked later if we’re doing it, I say no. I’m not rude, and I try to mention that we homeschool year round, so there’s plenty of reading taking place. In the end I feel like I’ve irked the librarians because I’m denying my children some reward for reading, and I’ve irked Seamus because there are treats! For him to have! Just for reading! This summer I decided Seamus could go to the children’s reference desk on his own while Tristan and I hunted down picture books.
I have no issue with the program, and if ice cream and stickers and baseball tickets entice kids to read, well, hey, great. But my kids love books already. Seamus was sick for most of last week, and still polished off all of his history, science, and language arts reading, on top of some library books. Tristan is only motionless when you read to him, and he will sit still for at least an hour if you keep it up. More importantly, they see the rewards within the books, and pursue those with as much excitement as they do trips to Tucker’s for ice cream.
Why would I mess with that?