EVERYDAY HOME | 7.6.15 | by Terra Wellington
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We’ve hit the mid-summer spot in which parents and kids are looking for new things to do. Our top choices are getting kids physically active and encouraging imagination — such as getting exercise in nature and finding alternatives to screens. We’re a champion of kids reading books to fuel their imagination, but we’d like to know how to encourage summer reading if your child isn’t already a bookworm.
No worries. We’ve mined some incredibly easy ideas for you. Read on …
5 Easy Ways to Get Your Child to Read This Summer ⬇
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Why Should Kids Read in the Summer?
There’s two top reasons: 1) it means a lot to their future academic success, and 2) it broadens imagination and experience via the stories they read.
In fact, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study, if your child reads poorly in third grade, then that same child is likely to read poorly in high school.
So make the efforts to get your child reading as soon as possible. And the more fun reading is, the more likely that child will continue on his or her own as the years progress.
5 Easy Ways to Make Reading Fun
- Make Books Available: We wholeheartedly recommend a planned, weekly trip to the library to stock up. Let your children roam and pick books they think look interesting. Libraries want the public to come. Book accessibility is one of the main determiners to a child learning how to read and loving what they read. Support your local library by saying thank you to your librarians and city officials for keeping it open and stocked with books and other media.
- Look for FUN Summer Reading Programs: Your local library will likely have a summer reading program you can opt into at any time during the summer. We have found that the incentives that these free reading programs offer are great for kids. It gives you another reason to return to the library each week. More ways to take advantage of summer reading programs is found in our article “Encourage Summer Reading with Library Trips.“
- Use Lists to Find the Best Books: CommonSenseMedia.org has a bunch of fantastic book lists that parents, tweens, and teenagers can use to find well-written and interesting stories to read. Other lists include Caldecott Medal and Honor Books, New York Times Best Sellers List, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. Here’s a fun list for Kindergarten-2nd Grade recommended by Reading is Fundamental:
- Tap into Beloved Genres and Authors for More Interest: Once you have determined your child likes a particular genre, like adventure or mystery or biographies, try to find books in these genres to continue to fuel interest. Or maybe there is a particular author or book franchise that your child likes. Sometimes it is what their friends are reading that is a motivator. For example, maybe your four-year-old loves Dr. Seuss books. While perhaps your 12-year-old wants to read the biography I Am Malala from Malala Yousafzai. It all depends on the child.
- Mix Up the Media: Offer a (child-appropriate) movie night for movies based on books kids have read — use this as an incentive. For young children, it is likely to fuel their love of books. For older children, it may not only do the same but also often creates critical thinking skills as they compare the book to the movie. If there are several movies made from the same book, watch them all and discuss which one was more like the book. CommonSenseMedia.org can help you navigate movies to know if there is any objectionable material in them before you watch them with your children.
You can also show your support for childhood literacy this summer through Macy’s Be Book Smart program — find out more here.
And if you’re invited to a child’s birthday party this summer, find out what kinds of books that child likes to read — they make terrific gifts!
How have you motivated your child to read during the summer?
Let us know in the comments below ⬇