Okay we’ve hit the dog days of summer.
School is in the past and long in the future.
So, how do we keep their minds active without a teacher’s help?
With Books of Course!!!
Here are my top five ways to encourage reading in the summer.
Top Five Ways to Encourage Reading
#1 To be reading yourself.
Monkey see monkey do, right? Children emulate us. They do what we do, whether it’s good or bad. Are you an avid reader? If not don’t stress. I’m not saying read War and Peace, but magazines, your Bible, or having a book you can pick up when your kids are reading.
Let them catch you reading, and they will want to join you or copy you. Both are great options.
Don’t try to bite off Goodread’s 100 book challenge, but find a goal that is doable for you and your life stage. One book a month, one magazine a week. Make it doable.
#2 Make Reading a Daily Relationship Building Habit-
I’ve heard this quote by Emily Buchwald said in many different ways, ‘Children and made readers in the laps of their parents,’ or even that true Book lovers have felt love in someone’s lap with a book in their hands. There is magic and joy that comes with being read to, and you truly never grow out of it. Hence the popularity of audiobooks. But not only
is being read to is good for your child’s mental and educational growth. It is a way to spend quality time together. Walk through an adventure together. Cry together. Shout a battle cry together. It is the sense of togetherness that is so valuable to a young child, and taking the time to read consistently strengthens not only their reading skills but also their security and value.
I still read aloud to my boys every night, even the thirteen-year-old. And every night there is a pleading for more. I don’t know how long it will last, but I will ride the read-aloud train as long as I can.
#3 Have Books Available-
The more accessible you make books the more likely someone is to pick one up. At any age, your child can pick up a book and learn something. Even the act of deciding whether or not the book is right side up or down is a key learning event in the life of your young reader.
The research on the benefits of books and the curiosity it stirs up is astounding. Even if, a child cannot read the words yet, a good picture book is an adventure for any age.
There are books everywhere in my house. It’s often hard to find a surface that doesn’t have at least one book on it, or stuffed between cushions. Then when we go to the library it's like a book bomb goes off in my living room, and the silence is golden.
I had a kiddo fracture his foot and was kind of stuck in a chair for the first few days in his cast. He said I’m bored. I turned to a nearby table and passed him a book I had just finished. This started a seven-day book binge of the series, and the whining stopped.
#4 Go to the Library-
Free Books!!! Hundreds of them are at your fingertips. Something is intoxicating about a library. You can’t refuse the pull of looking at a book. There is a science to it. I even think the degree to become a librarian is “Library Science”. Science, Magic. Tomato, Tomatoe.
Many libraries have reading challenges for the summer also, and Storytime is fun for younger audiences. We usually leave with the max number of books, and my kids pick out most of them. Don’t think your library is antiquated, you’d be surprised at the options they have
#5 Be willing to explore books in all formats-
In my previous post about ‘Reading Looks Different’ (LINK) I talked about having to get over my love for traditional books, and explore the types of books that engaged my reluctant reader’s interests. If going on a road trip, grab an audiobook. Take a Parent guided trip to the Comic book store or Half Price Books, just for fun. Find coloring books of favorite book characters. There are a lot of options, more than there used to be. Explore what excites your kids about reading.
Join the 100 Book Summer Reading Challenge to spur your kiddo to be a super reader this summer.