Everyone knows summer reading is vital to keeping kids on track and preventing the dreaded "summer slump." It's been proven that kids who read over the summer are less likely to fall behind. Here are 5 tips to help keep our kids reading all summer long -- and have fun while they're doing it!
Make plans to check out multiple libraries in your town/city. Your children may enjoy the varied selections, different children's sections, and programming hosted at different branches. Often, local libraries host events throughout the summer. Check to see what the libraries near you have to offer.
2. Sign up for Scholastic's Summer Reading Program
Motivate your children with the Summer Reading Challenge from Scholastic. This year's theme is "Reading Under the Stars," and is sure to offer lots of fun -- along with plenty of great resources for parents and educators. When your child signs up, he can log reading minutes and work towards receiving fun badges, chapter downloads, and more. Join with kids across the nation to set a new world reading record!
3. Change the Location
A change in surroundings or environment may increase interest for more hesitant readers. Spread out a picnic blanket and read in the backyard. Set up the camping tent or create a blanket fort in the kitchen and designate it as a reading spot. Reading is wonderful as it allows the participants to be flexible. Pack a book in your picnic basket or cozy up under the covers. Don't be afraid to mix it up and make your surroundings fun and inviting.
4. Read a Variety of Books
Expose your children to a variety of books this summer. Introduce them to new genres. Explore new sections of the library together. Consider options like comic books, how-to books, cookbooks, or other non-fiction books. Your child may discover she loves reading to learn new information or skills.
Another fun idea is to pull out past favorites. Revisit cherished read-alouds and well-loved bedtime stories. I still love pulling out picture books from childhood! (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Amelia Bedelia, anyone?)
5. Set an Example
At a conference this summer, LeVar Burton said, "My mom not only read to me, but in front of me." Our example can help set our children on the path towards a life-long love of literacy. Setting aside time each day for family reading lets our children know that we value and enjoy reading. I want my children to know that I choose to read -- because I love it! While you are busy encouraging your child to make time to read, make plans to dive into that novel your favorite movie is based on or stock up on some classics at the library.
If you're looking for a book suggestion, check out my list of 100 favorite chapter books, or my list of 100 favorite picture books. Happy reading!
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss