School is out for the summer and the kids are finally able to sleep in, play outdoors more, and take a break from homework. While the free time is enjoyable, kids often turn to screens or other activities and let their reading skills slide while on summer break. How can you stop the “summer slide” from happening?
Create a Book Club
Two people reading a book at the same time can be considered a book club. Pick a book your child would like to read or an old favorite from your own childhood and read it together. If you have multiple children that are about the same reading level, this can be a great way to get everyone involved. You can also consider looping in cousins and neighbors!
See the Movie
Check out what books are becoming movies this summer or those that are already available on DVD and choose those books to read with your child. A reward for finishing the book will be watching the movie together.
Be a Role Model
Parents who enjoy reading often have children who enjoy reading. I notice if I sit down in the living room with a book instead of turning on the TV, my tweens will often find their own spot to relax and read near me. If I turn on the television, we all end up watching it together. Set a good example for your kids when it comes to reading. It isn’t just for schoolwork, it is a fun hobby as well.
Expand your Reading
Not all kids will find a book they love easily. The goal is to practice reading, it doesn’t matter if it is a book or something more creative. Find other things besides books to read such as graphic novels or magazines. You can even get kids into the kitchen and have them read recipes from a cookbook. They will enjoy helping prepare meals and not even notice they are practicing their reading skills at the same time.
Pick Interesting Topics
Find out what your child is interested in and check out books on that topic. My son became curious about volcanoes so we headed to the library and checked out multiple books on volcanoes. When we returned home he promptly started reading about them and writing down interesting facts in his journal. You can also encourage your child to try different genres to see what they prefer. Nonfiction, historical fiction, mysteries, graphic novels, or classic literature—once kids find their niche, they will most likely be more excited about reading.
Kids who make reading a part of their daily routine are more likely to become lifetime lovers of reading. Set aside part of the day when your child can read for 30 minutes or set this as a goal before they can play video games, meet up with friends, or go to the pool.
Try to make it fun and come up with creative ways to incorporate reading into your daily schedule. Just a bit of daily reading will help them maintain their current reading level and be ready to take on new material once school begins.
Don’t forget to check out your local library’s Summer Reading program. They’ll be offering reading challenges, free activities, performances, crafts, and more this summer!