Summer is the best time to reacquaint your children with a love of books. During the school year, it’s sometimes hard just to read for the joy of it. Not so during those hot summer months! Encourage your kids to renew their love of books this summer with one of these simple strategies.
Read With Your Kids
You’ve heard about book clubs, and you might even be involved in one yourself. Why not apply the same concept to your family’s summer reading? Allow your kids to select their own age-appropriate books for you to enjoy together. Read the books separately and then come together to discuss them, exploring anything from the themes to the artwork.
Read in the Car
Instead of playing video games or watching movies, have your kids read in the car instead. If you’re on vacation or taking a long drive, let them earn game time by spending time reading first. Before you hand over their hand-held gaming devices, ask a few questions about what they’ve read, or ask them to share a favorite passage from their book. Get your kids in the habit of reading with this in mind, too.
Earn Game Time By Reading
The same exercise works at home, too. Instead of playing video games for hours or watching cartoons all day, turn off all electronic devices and clock the time your kids spend reading. It’s a great way to encourage your kids to set aside time for books.
Set a Book Challenge
Make it a game… complete with a reward at the end for completion! Set a reasonable summertime reading goal with your kids. One way to go is to choose age-appropriate books in different genres (such as biography, fantasy, science). Another is to choose a number of titles to read, or even total page numbers.
If you need help deciding which books to choose, try one of these links:
ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) 2014 Notable Children’s Books
ALSC Past Notable Books Lists
Parents Best Children’s Books By Age
Teachers First Best Books List
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Best Fiction for Young Adults
Take the Challenge
Register for the annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and see what other kids are reading this summer! Log in to clock your hours read. You can see how many hours kids all over the country have read, and even help set a record! The site offers tons of resources for parents and teachers, and even apps to help readers keep excited about their progress. It’s a wonderful program that’s motivated children for years to spend their summers enjoying good books.
Check Out Audiobooks
Audiobooks are a fantastic way to incorporate books into your summer fun! Get great free audiobook downloads from your library or check out audio books on disc. I love listening to audiobooks during the commute to school, and so do my kids; during summer months, we listen to our books in the car while running errands, instead. While some audiobook clubs charge a membership fee, you can find plenty of sites that offer free audiobooks for kids and adults here. It’s a great way to introduce your family to many of the classic titles you grew up with!
8 Weeks of Fun from RIF
For a list of non-stop literacy activities this summer, download RIF’s brochure on summer reading fun. It’s jam-packed with tips, games and activities to keep your kids excited about books, and it’s a wonderful way to be involved in your kids’ education all year long.