Spark! What Summer Reading Should Be + 110 Ideas for More Successful Parenting

Photo Mar 01, 12 51 40 PM*How do the girls in your life handle summer reading assignments? Do these assignments cause stress in your household? If so, do you agree find yourself nodding along with this English teacher? (Like we do):

“Summer reading assignments and reading quizzes and book reports don’t teach our students how to be readers. They teach them that reading is a school-centered activity. That it is a chore. That they aren’t good at it if they can’t remember insignificant plot points. These assignments set students up to cheat, or to fail, and always to regard reading as a drag.” Check out the rest of her smart post — which includes some possible solutions! — on The Millions.

*We love lists! Check out Dr. Sally Goldberg’s 100 Insights for Raising Successful Children on Early Childhood News and Resources includes lots of great reminders, such as “Use the R, S and T of parenting. Read, Sing, and Talk to your child as much as possible.” Which one do you like best?

*And, while we’re listing lists, here’s another great one for parents and caregivers of little ones: 10 Cheap And Easy Ways To Entertain A Toddler Who Is Driving You Crazy from the Mommyish blog. These are great ideas! Our personal fave: Using masking tape to set up a Hot Wheels race course!

*ONE LAST THING: Feel like you’re always rushing your children out the door? Sometimes the hurrying is necessary — especially in the morning as everyone gets ready to face their days — but it’s still worth checking out  what Hands Free Mama writes about what she noticed since The Day I Stopped Saying “Hurry Up.” 

“When my daughter and I took walks or went to the store, I allowed her to set the pace. And when she stopped to admire something, I would push thoughts of my agenda out of my head and simply observe her.  I witnessed expressions on her face that I’d never seen before. I studied dimples on her hands and the way her eyes crinkled up when she smiled. I saw the way other people responded to her stopping to take time to talk to them. I saw the way she spotted the interesting bugs and pretty flowers. She was a Noticer, and I quickly learned that The Noticers of the world are rare and beautiful gifts. That’s when I finally realized she was a gift to my frenzied soul.”

What do you think of her take? Post your comments below!