Summer is reminiscent of beach days, sprinklers, and lazy days, but it’s also a great opportunity to read a book. At Academic Learning Labs, parents often ask us how they can encourage their children to stay active mentally during the summer months. No one is a fan of required summer reading, but there are many fun ways to encourage summer reading.
Below are five tips on how parents can encourage summer reading.
1. Make sure your kids have plenty of books. 2. Always take books whenever you go somewhere, for you and your kids. 3. Encourage social reading. 4. Try not to get hung up on whether or not your child “could” be reading more advanced books. 5. Try to keep some time available for reading.
1. Make sure your kids have plenty of books.Give your kids an opportunity to get new books by taking them to the library or the bookstore and letting them pick out new books that interest them. You can go to the library weekly to find new books or organize a book swap in your neighborhood. Find new ways to keep a fresh supply of books around your kids.
2. Always take books whenever you go somewhere, for you and your kids.Make sure your kids see you reading books and give them opportunities to read wherever you go. Whether you are at the beach, waiting in the doctors office, or waiting for a dance class to begin, use this downtime to these get in even a couple of minutes of reading in. You can also read the same books your kids are reading and then you can discuss the book.
3. Encourage social reading.If your child comes home from a friend’s house wanting to read a book because they are reading it, this is a great opportunity to encourage them to read socially. This really reinforces the idea that reading is cool and allows your child the chance to talk about the book with others. You can encourage social reading by buying two copies of a book for your child and their friend, so that they can both read it. You can also start a book club or take your children to see a movie that is based on a book they have read. Find opportunities to make reading cool and a social experience.
4. Try not to get hung up on whether or not your child “could” be reading more advanced books.As much as you want reading to be educational for your child, it is important to understand that reading provides a solace for your child. You can always suggest a book that is more advanced, but don’t push too hard. If your child finds reading enjoyable they will want to continue reading, which will allow them to push themselves. The most important thing is just to give them time to spend reading.
5. Try to keep some time available for reading.This is often the hardest tip to follow. Summers get busy and schedules start to fill up quickly. Finding some quiet time to relax and read is a great way to unwind and find respite from the busy days. We suggest you schedule some reading time each day for your child and make this a part of their summer adventure.
We hope that these tips have been helpful. We would love to hear other things you have done to encourage summer reading with your children.