How to Keep Your Children Reading This Summer
Did you know that actually the summer is the perfect time for your child to grow as a reader? According to the Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians, the amount of free reading done outside the school setting has been found to consistently grow vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency and general information. Educational activities especially reading should still be on the menu all summer long.
Here are some tips on how to keep your children reading this summer:
Schedule Reading Time Daily
Reading muscles need to be exercised on a daily basis. That is why you should schedule reading time with your children every day. What time during the day doesn’t really matter as long as it is a time you can commit to every day. If your children are older and reading on their own, then it is a little easier because they can be reading while you are doing something else. At least an hour a day is recommended. For toddlers and preschoolers right before bed or nap time is sufficient.
Visit the Library
You will be surprised how excited your kids will be about getting their own library card and being able to take out books to read whenever they want. Try to head to the library every week to two weeks. Besides getting fresh reading material without the cost of buying at the store, you and your kids can take advantage of the story times and special events your local library has all summer long. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, the library is also a great place to cool off for a few hours.
Sign Up Your Kids for a Summer Reading Program
If your kids do not like reading, sometimes a summer reading program where they are working to specific goals will help motivate them. If your child’s school doesn’t have one, check out your local library or bookstores. If you are feeling creative, you can develop one yourself.
Read Aloud Together
If you have younger kids or kids who just don’t like to read, try reading aloud together. If a child struggles a lot reading, then they will enjoy the extra support from reading together. Also, reading together can just be a fun family bonding experience. Use accents and create props and make each book a performance the whole family can get excited about. Even when they are not doing all the reading themselves, your child’s comprehensions skills will still improve immensely.
Tie Reading in with Summer Activities
Whatever family trips you are making this summer try to tie into the books you and your kids are reading. For your littles, after a trip to the zoo, they will love to read about animals. For your older kids, if they have to read about the English Renaissance for school summer reading, then take them to your local Renaissance Faire so they can see that world come to life right before their eyes.
Get Books about their Passions/Hobbies
Whatever your child is passionate about, whether baseball or music or rock formations, use their excitement for it to spur their reading. Get them nonfiction even fiction books about their favorite topics and I bet they will spend hours combing through them.
Help Them Find Some Favorite Authors
Finding books that not only match your child’s interests, but also their reading level can be a bit challenging so when you do find a book they love, you want to keep the momentum going. See what other books that author has written and see if there are complete series you can get your child into.
Ask the parents of your kids’ friends also for suggestions on similar authors to try. Having at least a couple of authors your child loves makes it so much easier to get your child excited to read.
Even nontraditional reading material like comics and graphic novels are a good way to get your children into reading. It is a good starting point for kids that struggle with more dense reading material to keep them reading this summer.
Create Fun Reading & Vocabulary Games
For kids that are struggling with reading and comprehension, games designed to help with reading and vocabulary can give them extra support in a fun way. Flash cards and story-oriented board games can get them reading without them even realizing it.
You’ve Got Mail
Who doesn’t like getting mail, right? Well as long as it is not a bill, right? Get your kids a monthly subscription to a magazine you think they will like and they will have something to look forward to every month. Magazines like National Geographic Kids and Highlights for Children is slightly less intimidating reading material and can be a lot of fun for them to read.
Make Sure They See You Reading Too
You’ve heard the saying, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Well, your children watch everything you do very carefully. If you want them to see reading as important, you need to let them see you reading all the time. When you are passionate about reading, it is so much easier to get them into it too.
Also, don’t be afraid to have a frank conversation with them about why reading is so important to keep them reading. Help them understand that when they don’t read all summer long, they lose about two to three months of reading achievement and head back to school in September having lost a good chunk of what they gained during school.
Discuss Together What You Are Reading
For some kids, they don’t get as much out of a book when they read it on their own compared with when they discuss it with others. Little book clubs, just you and the kids can be a lot of fun. Discuss favorite characters, plot, different themes they see and see how much better they do in English class come September.
Keep your children reading this summer with these cool tips.