Books To Read This Summer

School is out for most kids here in the Philippines and what better way is there to while the time away than to read? Am sure your kids would rather laze around and probably play in front of the computer or the Xbox or Play Station or watch some mind-melting television shows but we loving parents would have none of that!

Make sure that your kids take up the reading habit during this two to three month break -- whether they like it or not. They may not appreciate it that you force them at the outset but believe me, years from now, as adults, they will thank you for it.

Am very grateful to my son's school that every summer, they come up with a reading list for their students. This guides parents like us regarding age-appropriate books that our kids will enjoy. For my incoming Grade 5 son (age range 10 to 11), for example, here are the suggested books:

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew; The Horse and His Boy; The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
Old Yeller by Fred Gibson
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert O' Brien
Harry Potter: The Philosopher's Stone; The Chamber of Secrets; The Prisoner of Azkaban; and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

My son's summer vacation only started last weekend and he has already finished The Magician's Nephew which is a 15 chapter book. He has started The Horse and His Boy. He is required to read 5 chapters a day and that serves as his ticket to do what he likes (e.g. play Xbox and/or play computer). He is actually only required to read at least one book from the list for an activity that his reading teacher will give in Grade 5 come schoolyear 2007-2008. Of the books in the list, though, we have more than one at home already so his parents have required him to read all the books that are readily available. We might even buy him the rest of the books that we don't have yet.

As for me, his mother, I will also read the books that were assigned to him (in class) for Grade 4 -- one English book and one Filipino book. It's my way of finding out what kids these days are being asked to read and will also force me to read something that I did not choose personally. =) Alangan naman si anak lang.

So, before you enrol your children in various summer activities or before you go off on that summer trip, lay down some reading rules and set aside some reading time in your home. Your kids will be better off next school year and in the years to come -- believe me.

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, March 20, 2007]

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