With summer rapidly approaching, reading may be the last thing on your child's mind. Instead, so much excitement is centered around family vacations and lazy trips to the beach.
Numerous studies have indicated that children that continue to read when school is out of session perform better academically than those that don't.
So what can you do to keep your child reading this summer?
The following parenting tips can help even the most reluctant of readers stay engaged in books this summer:
1. Enroll your child in a reading competition at your local library.
If you take a few minutes to conduct some research on the web, you'll find that most local libraries are offering a summer reading program for kids. For example, our very own Volusia County Public Library offers programs that encourage childhood literacy, such as 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and themed reading programs for teens.
2. Start a book club.
Starting a book club for your children can be as simple as pulling together a few interested kids in your neighborhood and assigning a book for them to read. Establish a specified time period for the kids to complete the book, and host a fun get-together so that they can discuss what they've read.
3. Host a reading competition in your household.
Create your own summer reading list for your kids. If you need some help, Scholastic has put together a list of recommended summer reading based on your child's age. If your child reads all of the titles within a certain timeframe, he or she can get a prize.
4. Get your child involved in planning your summer vacation.
If you have a big trip coming up this summer, there will likely be guidebooks and brochures related to your trip that your child can read ahead of time to prepare.
5. Check out a comic book shop.
Expose your child to a new style of reading through classic comic strips like Scooby-Doo, Spiderman, and Batman. Reading comics can be especially appealing to visual learners. You can even help your child make his own comic this summer.
6. Use Hollywood to get your child excited about reading.
There are a number of great movies that have been based on books, such as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe or Star Wars that can get your child excited about reading.
7. Read the newspaper aloud together.
If you make a habit of reading certain newspaper articles aloud to your child, you will encourage him or her to do the same for you. This is an excellent way to start conversations with your children about what is currently happening around the world.
8. Give your child a subscription to a magazine.
There are a number of magazines out there that are geared towards kids and teens. Typically, the voice and tone in these magazines are easy for them to identify with. Plus, getting the magazine in the mail is sure to create some excitement around reading it.
However you choose to connect your child with reading this summer it's important to match their reading level to the type of reading material. And, of course, one of the best parenting tips of all is to be a good reading role model yourself and pick up plenty of books on your own this summer. Reading for pleasure is the most effective way to build and engage a stronger interest in children.
Please be sure to check out our St. Barnabas Episcopal School blog for additional parenting tips as we frequently touch on issues parents of preschool, elementary school, and middle school-aged children are facing.
Our mission is to challenge each student in a supportive environment that promotes academic excellence, sound moral values, and high self-esteem within a framework of God’s love.