Students, would you yell at me if I said that summer is winding down? Technically, "Summer" has been underway for just under a month, but, here in the just-past-midpoint of July, we can see August on the doorstep.
August is the month for many to return to (or begin) college and even some high schoolers will get back to classes before September 1. You might be asking yourself, "What have I accomplished so far since the past school year ended?"
Take an inventory. Have you been working a job? If so, great! Maybe it will continue right up to when classes resume for the upcoming school year. Have you been traveling? If you have, I hope that your horizons and worldliness have expanded.
If you're a rising high school senior, maybe you've been doing some test prep or getting a jump on your college applications. That's time well spent. Perhaps part of your college prep has included campus visits. While summers are usually quiet times for colleges, it's still crucial to "Trod the sod!" as I always say.
However, and this is more common than it should be, maybe you've run out of constructive enterprises (or maybe you never had one) since school let out, and you're spending most of your day and night wandering around playing Pokemon Go and watching Friends reruns. In case you don't realize it, you're bored!
So, what can you do about that? How can you make the remaining days (daze?) of summer contribute to the advancement of your overall academic/intellectual/satisfaction profile?
Don't worry, I'm not going to try to shame you into doing something pretentious or what appears on the surface to be "important." I did a little research and found some excellent suggestions that just may appeal to you and not only lift you from the State of Boredom (which is a few miles northeast of Texas) and stimulate your cerebral cortex (speaking of Texas).
What am I talking about? Have you ever heard of a little thing called reading? One of the best ways to escape the drab drag of yet another day channel surfing, texting, and avoiding chores at home is to grab a good book and dive in. If you're not an avid reader yet, you may be surprised at how fast you can get hooked on what you may have formerly viewed derisively as "literature."
Are you willing to consider this? I might add that you don't have to be a high schooler to benefit from this approach. If you have a younger brother or sister who seems to be bored along with you, feel free to share the following wisdom.
Ready? Let's do it!
Here are six excellent lists for your consideration:
If you hate to be seaside (or lakeside or poolside or anything-side) without a book in hand, you’ve landed in the right place. Here, great beach reads recommended by notable authors and experts. ...
ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee has updated our Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles!
The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Four Summer Reading book lists are available for Birth-Preschool, K-2nd, 3rd- 5th and 6th-8th grade students.
Each list is available here to download for free. Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours and summer reading programs for children before making copies available to schools and patrons.
Titles on the 2016 Summer Reading List was compiled and annotated by members of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee. ...
[Lists for teachers that can apply to you, too.] Vacation time is the perfect time to read, read, READ! Check out these lists of super-entertaining books, from classics to fun picks, for you and your students. Enjoy our slideshows on summer reading to find the best of the best children's literature for your students: ...
[From UC Berkeley]:
Welcome to you, incoming Golden Bears!
You’re about to arrive for your first day of classes at Berkeley. Perhaps it will be your first time away from home. Maybe you’re the first one in your family to go to college. Whatever your background and experience, you’re sure to have plenty of “firsts” during your time here. In that spirit, we send along this year’s edition of the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students, which includes some fantastic reading recommendations, centered on the theme of “Firsts,” that have been selected for you by Berkeley faculty, staff, and your fellow students.
This eclectic list of non-required readings is offered as a gift each year to incoming students; we encourage you to share it with your peers. (Click here to see past years’ lists.) Whether you dip into one of these as you make preparations to leave for Berkeley or track them down in Cal’s vast library collections once you arrive, we’re sure you’ll find something here to pique your interest so that you can experience that “first” that remains evergreen: the pleasure of a being a reader enjoying a new book ...
Reading Rockets' annual summer booklist makes it easy to find great books kids will enjoy during the long, lazy days of summer. This list can be a springboard for helping your kids choose books on topics that pique their curiosity — that's what really motivates children to want to read! ...
... These summer reading booklists are created by our children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, who also writes the Page by Page blog. It features books so engaging that your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or student will delight in them over and over again.
Each book was chosen based on age, reading level, topic, writing quality, illustrations, and overall excellence. We make a special effort to highlight newly published books. Also included are great books for sharing, talking over, and thinking about with an adult as well as exceptional audio books.
Massive: "(showing 1-50 of 9,861)" !
So, boys and girls, turn your boredom into bounty. I recall my summers quite well. I spent hours and hours on our porch glider with a stack of baseball magazines at my side. When it wasn't raining, you could often find me in the hammock under the apple tree in our back yard working my way through a World Book encyclopedia volume.
That particular reading venue also enlightened me on the specifics of gravity one day, as a particularly robust apple landed in my lap. My thought-train logic went something like this:
[Apple lands with a thud on my stomach.]
Me: "Ouch! Hey, this must be how Isaac Newton discovered gravity!"
"Newton ... hmm. That reminds me. Mom brought home some fig bars last night. Time for a snack!"
This brief anecdote points up the advantages of summer reading. Having been a voracious summer reader, I was able to easily make the connection between a falling apple and Fig Newtons.
Summer reading planted the (apple) seeds that helped me get to where I am today -- writing about reading and seriously thinking about fig bars.
What are you waiting for, then? Beat the blues and boredom with a book, baby!
Be sure to check out all my college-related articles at College Confidential.