We rarely take vacations over the summer.Â Usually, we wait until it cools some and school starts up again for most children.Â This year we started vacation over Labor Day weekend.Â Our plan was to go hiking and then help fix up “Grandma’s house” while taking time to visit relatives and do some site seeing.
Near Chesterton, IN we drove through a storm.Â It was bad enough that Allan debated pulling over.Â The rest of the trip was dry.Â After a long day of driving, we stopped at Arrowhead Park in Neola, IA.Â We would have enjoyed exploring the trails but we got in late enough that we did not have time.Â It was a nice park, though a little loud with holiday campers.
We left early the next day and ate breakfast on the road.Â After driving a long time, stopping for ice cream and taking a short rest, we stopped at our favorite rest stop on SR 383 near Norton, KS. We drove a long time and got to Colorado in time to watch a beautiful sunset.
Two years ago in September, we signed Megan up to read “1000 books before kindergarten”. As much as we read, we thought it would be easy. Soon after starting though, we discovered it was too easy. One of the kids decided we should read 1000 unique books.
We all liked that idea and that became our goal. I researched “classic” books from the 1940’s on and found lots of wonderful books we have never read before. The children looked for their favorite books from when they were younger and we read those. Megan sat and listened to chapter books that the older ones were reading. We looked for books from our favorite authors. We found wordless books again. We discovered many new books that we want for our library.
On Friday, Megan took her record sheet to the library for the last time. We had read and recorded 1111 unique books in less than two years. She was so excited that she ran ahead of everyone to get her last sticker and then her certificate. She earned a book we never read before. Then, Daddy took her out to buy ice cream to celebrate!
It is really was not too hard to read that many books. It sounds like a lot and remembering to record the books is a pain. If you read one book to your child every day it will take less than 3 years. You can read duplicates. You can read your favorites and discover new ones. If you have older kids, read to them too. While the older ones did not listen to EVERY book Megan snuggled and read, they did listen to 75% or more of the books because they wanted too.
I would challenge you to change two things with the program. A paper certificate and a new book is nice. But make the reward bigger and better. Go out for ice cream–Megan’s absolute favorite treat–or for dinner. Then, keep reading out loud to your family. Don’t stop at picture books. Find books that are excellent and read out loud a lot!