Friday, June 4, 2010

Gets Me Every Time

We're about a week into summer vacation here at the Riley house. Meg does summer school, so for the month of June, it's just me and the girls. We're having a blast, being lazy, going with the flow. It's nice to get off the conveyor belt of life for a while.

One of my favorite things about summer is the reading program sponsored by the public library. The girls get a little chart, they color in a shape for every 15 minutes they read: sea horses, seashells, you get the drift. Every 6 hours they get some sort of prize; I think the first one is a temporary tattoo. The girls are obsessed with filling in their charts, so the first week or two of summer vacation there's a lot of reading going on in the Riley house. I don't think they even care about the prizes, they just like filling in that chart, must be the sense of accomplishment. Intrinsic reward over extrinsic reward, does a parent proud.

In a departure, Scout is using a timer this year. She resets it every 15 minutes, it's pretty damn cute. Scout is a freakish reader, incredibly fast and way above grade level. She reads better than most of the 8th graders I taught this year. Quinn is coming along at a more normal pace, and I love listening to her read, helping her sound out tough words. It's really starting to click for her; I can hear the confidence growing in her voice with every chapter. Quinn has a bunch of books checked out from the library, but I doubt she'll ever get to them, we're reading The Magic Treehouse series. Quinny reads aloud to Meg and I, and we just ballpark 2 chapters=15 minutes.

Meg and I are both avid readers, so I'm not surprised the girls love to read. The thing is, I'm surprised every time I see Scout in one of her many reading spots around the house, completely lost in her own little world. I'm surprised every time I listen to Quinn sound out a polysyllabic word or use the perfect inflection with dialogue. I'm surprised how happy it makes me.


  1. Isn't it great how much fun we have as parents watching our little ones grow and enjoy things like reading with vigor? Great post, Tim. Oh, and I tagged you with another badge. Hope you don't mind :)

  2. Squilla's AuntJune 5, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    I love the phrase "the conveyor belt of life". And you draw word pictures very well...I can just picture the girls curled up reading, with the lure of another shape to color just in reach...

  3. what an awesome post. this takes me back to when i used to spend my summers scouring library shelves and pouring over pages for hours on end.

    oh the freedom.

    where has the time gone?