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Vogt's Notes: Let kids sleep in this summer, and make them read

Do what you can to instill a lifelong love of reading in your kids

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Photo illustration / Shutterstock.com
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I’m in the middle of a Nicholas Sparks love story/mystery novel.

It’s the perfect book. I can read a bit of it every night to unwind before bed, but it isn’t keeping me up until the wee hours. I can put it down.

In fact, halfway through it, I have a sense that I’ve read the book before. But I’m not 100% sure.

So, I’ll keep reading.

Reading.

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If there’s one trait I’m so happy to have grown up with and carried far into adulthood, it’s a love of reading. I’ve previously shared my earliest memories of visiting a bookmobile with my mom and checking out books as a young child.

From there, I progressed and devoured books of the times through adolescence, my teens and young adulthood. My mom and I continue to trade books, and now I’m happy to say one of my daughters has turned into a pretty avid reader as well.

I couldn’t be more proud.

In today’s world of a gazillion television channels and video games accessed on all kinds of technical devices, not to mention the pull of social media, I fear fewer and fewer children will grow up reading books.

I’m all ready for grandkids when it comes to books. I couldn’t bear to part with all the books my kids received as babies and toddlers. They’re all in a drawer in a downstairs dresser, ready for grandchildren's visits and overnight stays.

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I recently attended a baby shower where we were asked to bring a book instead of a card. What a super idea! As an added bonus, we were asked to write a note to the new parents and baby in the book.

I always buy “Guess How Much I Love You” for parents-to-be. It’s the story of a parent’s and a child’s love as told by Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare.

I just love it.

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I receive emails from Brainly, an online learning platform, and I saved one that offered the following tips from Brainly’s parenting expert, Patrick Quinn, to help parents get their kids to read for fun more often:

  1. Reading rewards. For every 10 books your child reads, allow him/her to choose a prize from a bin of dollar store goodies or earn some type of coveted privilege. 
  2. Piggyback on their passions. Pick books for your child that feature topics and themes he or she is already interested in. 
  3. Make a themed reading nook. Work with your child to make it an area where they’d want to hang out, which makes reading time even more special and appealing. Some themes might include under the sea, a Native American teepee, a princess palace or outer space. 
  4. Set a good example. The best way for kids to become more vivacious readers and to cultivate a love of reading is to learn by example from their parents. Parents who read often are more than twice as likely to have kids who like to read. 

That Brainly email also shared the following: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, reading proficiency by third grade is one of the most important predictors of whether a student will graduate high school and succeed in a career, yet according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education , 32 million adults in the United States still can’t read.

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Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

I find that so hard to believe.

Read to your kids. Do what you can to instill a lifelong love of reading.

An easy place to start is a local library that offers summer reading programs for kids.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Opinion by Nancy Vogt
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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