As an English teacher, I have a firm belief that reading is THE most important factor to academic success. You can’t do well if you can’t read and decode what you are reading.
This being said, summer can be a tough time to keep kids reading. Here are three easy ways to encourage your kids to continue reading this summer:
1. Join a summer reading program
There are many places that offer summer reading programs that you can easily do from home. Check the following:
Your child’s school – some schools offer summer reading programs to keep kids reading while on vacation
Barnes & Noble – every summer, your kids can earn free books. Simply click the link, download the reading log and start turning the pages
Scholastic Summer Reading – Join online to track minutes
Your public library – our summer doesn’t seem to officially begin until we pick up our summer reading journals from our local library. Check yours for freebies!
2. Make it fun
When my kids need to calm down, we have DEAR time in the living room. We all grab pillows, bean bag chairs, etc and we chill on the floor with books. If my kids are really reluctant that day, I’ll make them do something silly, like lay with their feet on the stair banister or something else to take their focus off the fact that they want to play video games.
3. Join in
READ to your kids. Let them pick the book and read to them nightly. Even older kids enjoy being read to. Have fun with it – make up silly voices for the different characters, snuggle up in your bed with them – the key is to do something that makes it fun and exciting and different.
If this doesn’t work, read the same book with your child. Then you can discuss the characters and what happened to them.
4. Let them read what they want, within reason
So your kid only likes magazines or graphic novels? LET THEM READ THEM!! I, as an English teacher, give them permission. Once they are reading regularly, try to find books with similar topics that they can try. There are books that are written in prose or poetry form, there are regular novels retold as graphic novels – be creative.
If you were to stop into a library or Barnes and Noble and tell them that your child is interested in XYZ, what books can they suggest, they might actually get emotional and shed a tear. They LOVE helping people find books – so let them help.
If your child is still reluctant, back off. It’s better to read ANYTHING than to read nothing, trust me.
By you getting more involved, you can get your kids to enjoy reading. I promise you.
How do you get involved with your kid’s reading? If you don’t, why don’t you? Let me help – leave a comment or question in the comments.