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July 10, 2006


I have three kids, and I have found one of the WORST aspects of school is the dread "mandatory summer reading" -- the required reading has resulted in so many arguments and lousy grades in September for the books not being read. And it puts kids off reading - that's the way it has worked with all of my kids.

Case in point: my youngest is going into 5th grade and they all have to read "Because of Winn Dixie" - it's been sitting in his room all summer, he hated it after three pages and doesn't want to read it. I've been keeping track of his reading (since I am the one that does the library trips with the kids) -- so far [second week in July] he has read one six-book series, one four-book series, everything by one particular author that we could find (Bruce Coville) and he's read upwards of 20 books, including nonfiction books -- we have a real fondness for the "Eyewitness" series. But none of it "counts" toward the dread assigned reading for school... so even though he spends hours a day reading, he tells me he hates reading - whenever I mention the mandatory school summer assignment.

Wouldn't it be nice if the schools would just ask the kids to write about their favorite book they read over the summer instead of trying to force something "good" or "educational" down their throats?

My husband and I both read, and the weekly library trips are a necessity, not an option - how could anyone keep sane raising three kids without being able to escape into a book now and then?


I am afraid we are all afflicted with the family curse, we are bookworms. My Mum usually had three books on the go at one time and was the only woman I know who could read, watch tv and knit a complicated fair isle pattern at the same time. How many women take a shopping bag on wheels to the library?

Me I just read one book after another. In fact my idea of the perfect holiday is to fill my suitcase with books as opposed to clothes, then sit in the shade somewhere, G & T to one side and a book in my hands. In two weeks I get through a book a day, if it is a fat one, make it aday and a half.

My biggest problem is I have to buy the book, I hate to part with them so the library isn't for me, and I will read them over again and each time I find something new. Perhaps I didn't read it properly the first time.

Fortunately the next generation are similarly afflicted. The girls went to France today and the children were allowed to take computer games with them. They asked if it was alright to take a book instead.

I know this is old, but I just have to vent somewhere....

My son is 11 and he LOVES to read, I actually have to drag him out of his room and remind him that there is a whole world going on around him sometimes. He got in trouble at school the other day and got a detention, during this detention he was "forced" to read as a punishment!! Not only is this NOT a punishment for him, but what are these idiots thinking?? Aren't schools supposed to foster a love for reading, what kind of message is it sending to use reading as a punishment?

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