Between summer camp, long afternoons at the pool and the newfound freedom of no school, it’s easy to slack off completely. For many families, the new summer routine of relaxation and fun means that reading suffers.
According to the US Department of Education, not reading or reading less frequently over the summer can result in stagnating or even worsening reading skills. Your child’s fluency, or ability to read without stumbling, can easily falter when you quit practicing. Not only that, but you miss out on the chance to learn vocabulary, practice reading comprehension and enjoy great stories!
Even if your child doesn’t love reading, there are some easy ways you can incorporate it into your summer routine without too much of a struggle:
Sometimes, your child might be more cooperative with another adult when it comes to certain tasks. The same is true for reading! So, put your babysitter in charge of reading occasionally. Assign a read-aloud or ask your child to read to the babysitter.
Make reading time family time. Over the summer, take some time to read together as a family at a certain time every day or every week. Even children as young as 3 or 4 may enjoy listening to certain chapter books such as the classic Narnia series or Charlotte’s Web. Or, enjoy great poetry books like Where the Sidewalk Ends.
While driving, ask your child to read to you, or pop in a recorded book and listen together while your child follows along with the actual book. This is a great way to pass the time on long summer road trips. In addition, you might have time to enjoy discussions about the books, characters, and more.
Take a book along to the pool to enjoy while your child has a snack or comes out for a breather. Whether you take turns reading pages with your child or you simply read aloud, this will help keep your child interested in books.
Sometimes, children can be especially resistant to reading and they need a bit of a push to do it. In addition to making sure your child has great reading material (think kid’s magazines and graphic novels for those who don’t like traditional books), you can also make reading a requirement. One popular way to get your child to read over the summer is to keep the Wi-Fi password or digital devices hostage until they’ve read at least one book. If you use a regular babysitter or nanny, make sure you fill them in on the plan so that they can help enforce the rules.
Reading opens the door to academic success and lifelong learning. So, don’t let up over the summer and make sure your kids get their daily dose!
Not sure where to get started? Here’s an excellent list of books appropriate for children ages 2-12. Now, head to the library or bookstore. There are still a few weeks of summer left!