My neighbor, Judith, is an avid reader and wanted to encourage the reading habit in her two young grandsons. Since she and her grandsons live in different states, she had to come up with a long-distance solution. It’s been such a success she’s continued it for the past three years.
When Reed was 7 and Noah was 4, she decided to send them a monthly $20 gift certificate to Amazon. She told them they could each choose the book they wanted to order each month. First she explained the idea to her daughter, the boys’ mother, to make sure she approved and would be willing to help. Initially, when the boys were younger, she had to rely on her daughter to manage the ordering. But with time they’ve become more independent, not to mention great readers, and order the books themselves.
Over the three years she’s been doing this the boys have benefited beyond reading. They cooperate with each other on their choices. Sometimes they decide they want to bank their money to save up for a more expensive book or pool their money and share a book. They’ve also learned how to calculate shipping charges and now figure that cost into their purchases.
Judith also sent the boys 12 self-addressed stamped postcards, hoping they would write and tell her what books they ordered. But that part of the plan didn’t work out as she’d hoped. She gets phone calls from them sometimes and they thank her for the books.
She thinks her idea would be even better if Amazon would set up an automatic service that bills her monthly and send an e-card telling her what books her grandsons purchased that month so they could have a conversation about it.
Sounds like a great concept.
How do you stay connected to your long-distance grandchildren? Post your ideas in Comments.