Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Summertime Is So DEAR

by Michele | July 14th, 2010 | Elementary

It’s the fourth week of summer vacation, and the kids are enjoying the leisurely pace.  There’s no reason to rush through the morning routine and no need to keep a strict handle on bedtimes.  With no homework and no school, each day finds its own rhythm, typically with a combination of hanging out with friends, some screen time, swimming, and general lazing.  However, there is one mandatory element to all weekdays: DEAR time.

For those who are unsure as to what DEAR is, it simply is Drop Everything And Read.  While reading tends to be a habit of our children, it is something that can be lost in the shuffle.  The time spent reading at bedtime may disappear due to tiredness after a long day of fun or because there is a friend sleeping over. Plus, with all of the distractions kids have (e.g. iPods, cell phones, handheld games), it seems that books can be forgotten.

To ensure that all of our kids are reading, we have instituted DEAR time.  Here are the guidelines for our house:

  1. DEAR time is held Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m.  As I work from home, I arrange my schedule so that no meetings are held at that time.  Obviously, every household has its own logistics, so choose the time that works best for your family.
  2. Everyone needs to have a chapter book.  Our kids are ages 9-14, so they are capable of reading these books.  Although I am a proponent of reading anything with text, it seems important that they challenge themselves instead of choosing books that are simple.
  3. DEAR time lasts for 20 minutes.  Thirty minutes seemed too long, both for the kids and for me to fit into my work schedule.  Find the amount of time that works best for you.
  4. Cell phones, iPods, etc. are not allowed to be present during DEAR time.
  5. Everyone reads in our living room.  As we are all in one room, it is readily apparent if everyone is reading.
  6. If a child is unavailable at 10:00 due to a sleepover, he or she makes up the time later in the day.

Not only when your children gain all of the benefits of reading by having DEAR time, you also will be guaranteed twenty minutes of peace and quiet.

Comments on Summertime Is So DEAR