When I think of summer break, I think of pool days, zoo trips, park visits and friends. I try to keep my kids as busy as possible so they continue to learn and grow all summer long. After all, tired kids are happy kids.
For my 6 year old, we do our best to encourage summer reading, but it isn’t always easy when it isn’t required by a teacher. I will say, he is finally at that age where he enjoys a good book, and even picking out his own books. Glad it’s not just me who enjoys a lengthy stroll down the book aisle at Target.
The benefits of reading are plenty. Not only will reading help to grow your child’s vocabulary, but it will also improve concentration, patience, imagination, memory, and writing skills, to name a few. Help to prepare your child for the upcoming school year and follow my 5 tips below to keep your child reading all summer long.
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Join a reading program
Everyone is more successful and motivated by deadlines and incentives. Allow a summer reading program to help keep your child encouraged and accountable. The first place to check is your local library. Luckily, our library offers many resources to keep the kids engaged all summer long, including a summer reading challenge, cultural passes, scheduled author days, prizes and more.
We simply pick age-appropriate books, check them out of the library, read and log them into the account that they provide, free of charge. Or maybe your child’s school has a reading program available. Speak with your child’s teacher about a schedule or even recommendations for books to read. I’m willing to bet the teacher will be happy to share ideas and tips for the summer.
Let children pick their own books
I don’t know about your children, but my son loves to be in charge. I’m assuming he gets that from me. Anyway, there is no better way to get him to do something than showing him he is in charge, and allowing him to choose what it is he is reading.
Make sure what your child is reading is age-appropriate. There is a really helpful online tool that will allow you to find the best books for your children, based on reading level and interest. A good idea is to give your child a selection of 10, and allow them to pick from there. No need to overwhelm with a selection of hundreds!
This is what is on our reading list now:
Read with your child
Some days, my son just doesn’t want to read, or really learn anything for that matter. I get it, I don’t want to work every day, or cook every meal, so sometimes a little nudge can help.
We enjoy reading together. Most days, my son will read solo in the morning, and at bedtime I will read to him, or we read together. By reading together, we make it fun and can then discuss what we just read. I can ask questions and he can tell me about his favorite characters and more.
Create fun bookmarks
Everyone loves fun accessories, or at least my kids do! Whether it’s colorful pens to write a quick book report, or diy bookmarks to color and hold our place, accessories help keep my kids interested.
Make your own, or download the bookmarks I created below, and color them to your liking.
This is just a life lesson in general. We’ve all heard that the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. May seem a bit deep for a simple reading program, however, teaching kids the importance of consistency will aid them in all future endeavors.
Children thrive on routine and structure, so don’t skimp during the summer months. I whole-heartedly believe that children deserve and even need some slack during the summer. Afterall, they did just work incredibly hard for the last 9 months. But there is also such a thing as the summer slide, where children lose skills during the summer months (such as math and reading) simply because they aren’t using them.
That is why children need consistency, such as reading at least 20 minutes a day. Our goal is 40 minutes a day, so roughly 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before bed. By maintaining a set routine, you are stressing the importance of the routine and encouraging reading to come as second nature.
Try using the free reading logs below, and allow your child to fill them out at you go.
Related posts: 10 Best Activities To Encourage Creativity In Young Children, Summer Bucket List For Kids, Best Bedtime Books For Toddlers Who Hate Sleep, Summer Camp at Home: 4 Weeks Of STEAM Activities.