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Vacation and Read Together—Take the Family Reading Challenge!

Sep 27, 2017, 10:52 AM

We’ve followed a boy who lives within the gears of a train station clock. Run with a boy turned superhero when struck by lightning. Solved puzzling cases with kids in a mysterious society. Cheered on a would-be prince restored to his throne. Cried through a first-love trip to Amsterdam. Looked for the lost class guinea pig with twin sisters.

We’ve done all of this from the blanket in the yard, cuddled up in bed and riding in the car on cross-state road trips.

Of course, it’s through the magic of books.

Since the kids were babies, I’ve read to and with them. I want my kids to share my love of reading, for the academic benefits, but also because it’s great entertainment. Books are available on every subject and about all kinds of people on different adventures. They can make you laugh, cry, think and dream. And they’re portable! Especially now with iPads, e-readers and mobile phones.

And summer is a great season to get the kids reading. The long days—hours by the pool, enjoying an ice cream—they all go well with a good book.

As we pack our suitcases for vacation, the kids have two book assignments:

  • Select a book to read—a paper book or e-book. The books have to be long enough to last past us pulling out of the driveway. It’s that easy! Reading is the perfect end-of-the-day, calming activity. Parents can read aloud and let the kids read too. Or everyone can read quietly, together.
  • Select an audio-book for travel time. When we do road trips, we like a story to help pass the hours and miles in the car. The book has to be something everyone will enjoy, so this causes the most discussion and negotiations. It also results in us driving around an extra block before parking, just to get to the end of the chapter and chit-chat waiting for dinner as we talk about what character we like (or don’t) and what we think will happen next.

Summer may not seem like the time for academics, but reading is the perfect lazy day activity. And reading together makes it even more fun. So grab a book, gather the kids and enjoy.

Frances Frost is a wife, mom of four and a PTA leader. She is also an author and the blogger for Just Piddlin’ ( Follow her on Facebook—Just Piddlin with Frances—and Twitter @JustPiddlinBlog. Frances and her family are part of our inspiration for the PTA Family Reading Challenge. Watch this video to learn about how they—and other families—love to read together

PTA Family Reading Challenge

You can be a part of the reading fun this summer by joining the PTA Family Reading Challenge—a campaign to inspire families to keep learning alive by reading great books together.

In July, National PTA will empower families to read together by sharing tips and activities that encourage ongoing reading. Families can participate in the PTA Family Reading Challenge—and win great prizes—by sharing photos, videos and memories that demonstrate how and why reading together is a fun and treasured family activity.