I just rather not talk about the cluster fuck that was me and my husband working full-time
from home with a 4-year-old, homeschooling a 6 and 14-year-old. Let’s just skip over that whole experience and looked toward the future! I’m glad it’s over and summer break is here. And I probably should keep the learning going. Which I can handle because there is no pressure and/or expectations. It can just be chill and fun.
Here are some thoughts I have to keep the reading going this summer by creating a reading friendly home:
Try to read every day. I think putting a time on it like 30 minutes every day is too much pressure. Keep it simple just read once a day. You can even read something quick like a poem or a few jokes from a joke book.
Create a book friendly environment by keeping books visible. Instead of having books on book shelves or tucked away neatly, lay a few out on the coffee table or in a basket in the living room. Having books in open view and accessible, your child will be more likely to pick up a book and read it than going to the book shelf. In my house, we have a drawer in our coffee table with books in it, and the girls while watching tv will open the drawer and pick out a book and ask someone to read it to them. I also switch out the books often to give them variety.
If your child is going to stay at a family member’s house have them bring along a bag of books. Or if you have a sitter, make sure you add “reading” to their list of things to do. Remember to let your children chose their own reading material. Any reading is good reading.
Last make sure you have good multicultural children’s literature in your home collection.
Here are some things to consider in choosing multicultural books this summer are accuracy, stereotypes, setting, language, illustrations, author’s perspective, and interest’s stories.
In accuracy consider how old photos and pictures are. Modern stories should reflect recent events. For example, books on South Africa should reflect changes in the apartheid system.
Be careful with stereotypes in books, such as The Five Chinese Brothers. In this book, all the brothers are yellow and look alike, which enforces the stereotype that all Asian people look alike.
Settings should be considered for issues like not all Native American tribes lived in tepees. If you’re discussing present-day Native Americans, they live in homes like you and me.
Be careful of books that separate characters into two groups: those who speak Standard English and those who don't. This division can reinforce stereotypes that all people in a group speak in a way.
Translated books should reflect the original content and not sound awkward because of word-by-word interpretations.
Read the book before you share it with children and make sure the author perspective is respectful to the culture.
Author perspective is important to look at because you can tell from the tone and use of words the author’s position on the book’s subject.
Incorporate interest stories, not just culturally specific. Look for books that reflect multicultural characters that contain themes like friendship, family, and school.
Have fun reading with your child this summer!