The fourth of July has come and gone, and while I personally love our most American of holidays, it also marks the beginning of the end of summer.  It just seems as if summer starts slipping away as the smoke from the fireworks drifts into the wind.

For most families, the beginning of a new academic year is now less than one month away.  It’s time for back-to-school shopping, schedule juggling and activity scheduling. Prep work for the school year can make a final summer hurrah feel like an insurmountable task. 

Can we go visit a theme park one more time? Can we take a short weekend trip? Is there a free weekend left for a sleepover, or a campout or a visit to grandma’s?Making summer memories is fun, but it requires time and money, after all. 

Unless it doesn’t.  

I would argue the best use of time shared between parent and child during summer’s final, hurried breaths can be spent reading together. 

Only through reading can a family travel across the globe without a passport. A good book can provide a glimpse into a culture, a community or a world that’s … well … a world away. 

Kids can find new interests by diving into books about things that were previously unknown to them. Parents can find a slower pace and quality time that costs nothing. 

There are roughly 15 days remaining before school begins. As a lifelong educator, I urge you to spend a part of each day reading with your child. If you read 20 pages a day, there’s still time to read 300 pages before the first bell rings. In those 300 pages, you just might find the last of the sweet memories you were hoping to make with your child this summer. 

 

Jan Barrick is the CEO of Alpha Plus, a company founded by an Oklahoma teacher that was created to help Oklahoma students and teachers succeed.