Reading during the summer is crucial for helping students retain the information and skills they’ve learned during the school year. This is especially important this summer since many students finished the school year working from home and online.
Below are eight tips for encouraging students to read during the summer. As you read through the tips, consider which ones will work best for the students in your life.
Add Books to Their Environment
If you have plenty of books in your house but your kids aren’t picking them up, look for opportunities to put books in areas where kids might be bored and a little bit trapped – for example, children should be able to access books in the car. The bathroom is another wonderful opportunity to get a book in your child’s hands. If you go anywhere with a waiting room or some place that an “I’m bored” will pass through the kids’ lips, make sure that books come with you. (activekids.com)
Create a Fun Reading Space
Set up a tent or create a reading fort. Add comfy pillows, bean bags chairs and blankets along with a basket of books to make it a fun, relaxing spot for reading. The possibilities are endless! (ed.gov)
Remove Distractions From Their Environment
What are the barriers to reading in your home? Many kids tend to reach for electronics before books, so find opportunities to limit access to those devices and get kids to reach for books instead. We’re not suggesting going screen-free, but rather eliminating that shiny distraction as often as necessary to get a book into your kid’s hands. (activekids.com)
Make Reading an Adventure: Visit libraries and take field trips virtually!
Many public libraries have shifted summer reading programs on-line. Explore your local library or “go to” a library in another city! Feeling extra adventurous? Try a reading-inspired field trip! For example, if you read a book about dinosaurs, plan a virtual visit to museums to learn more about them. Or, if you read a book about flowers, “visit” a botanical garden. (ed.gov)
Expand Your View of Acceptable Reading Material
Comic books are books. Magazines are interesting and educational. Reading is reading, and anything that has words or pictures counts. Even audiobooks require following a story and visualizing the world in your head, making them a wonderful resource for kids. During the school year, much of what your child reads will be decided by their teachers. Summer is when reading should be fun, relaxed and a time where your kids can choose their reading material. If you need help finding books of interest for your kids, the children’s librarians at the public library can offer suggestions. (activekids.com)
Reading should be a choice, not a chore. Allowing your child to choose the books they read gives them a sense of control. Graphic novels/comic books, magazines, non–fiction and newspapers should also be options in reading for pleasure. Allowing choice in reading materials goes a long way in raising life-long readers. (ed.gov)
Many of us don’t take the time to sit and read for pleasure, but we are still learning and growing and deserve the chance to read for fun. Find something you enjoy reading and read it. That’s it! When others see you reading, they’ll learn that it’s something you value, and it will become more important. Turn off the distractions, find a cozy spot, and read for 20 minutes. (activekids.com)
Reading is necessary for successful learning, but it can be fun too if approached appropriately. Again, consider the best approach for implementing fun summer reading in your home!
Picture: El Paso District Library