15 Tips to Keep Your Kid’s Reading On-track Over the Summer
Summer reading programs are a great way to keep kids engaged with reading and up-to-speed with their reading level. But even if kids start a reading program with enthusiasm, their attention may dwindle as the summer rolls on. Here are 15 tips to keep your kids on-track:
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1. Enroll in a Summer Reading Program
At the risk of stating the obvious, make sure your kids are enrolled in a summer reading program. It may be through your local library, through a bookstore, or even through their school. Officially joining gives kids a sense of being part of something, it gives them a way to track their progress, and there are generally rewards or bonuses involved, which go a long way towards motivating young people.
2. Read with Your Child
You know the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do?” Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. Kids model what they see. If you want to encourage your child to be a reader, make sure that you’re reading as well.
3. Read to Your Child
Reading to your child doesn’t have to end with children’s books. Reading aloud and taking turns reading, with children of all any age, is a good way to connect, support your child’s reading and instill in them a love of books.
4. Be Consistent with Reading Times
Do you and your kids read before bed? Or as an afternoon break? Setting aside specific, quiet times for reading makes reading part of the everyday routine rather than something you do once-in-awhile. Of course, your child can always read outside of the set times, but developing a reading routine will keep your child on-track with their summer reading program and encourage lifelong reading habits.
5. Talk About What You Read
Whether your child reads with you or on their own, asking them questions about the storylines and characters is a great way to boost comprehension and keep kids engaged with the stories they read.
6. Let Your Child Choose the Books They Read
Maybe lizards, Captain Underpants, or books about fashion aren’t really your thing, but if your kid is interested in reading about them, by all means let them. The goal is to instill in young people a love of reading and plant the seeds of being a lifelong learner. Letting your kids choose the books they read will give them a sense of self-determination as well as the awareness that books can satisfy their curiosity, wherever it may lead.
7. Include Comic Books, Magazines and Other Non-book Formats
Who says that summer reading only includes books? If your child and their interests lean more toward magazines or comic books, give them access to magazines and comic books. This is especially true for reluctant readers who may feel more comfortable getting a taste of reading through graphic novels, and later get hooked!
8. Make Different Types of Reading Materials Available
Make sure your child has easy access to books and other reading materials. Obvious places to source books are your local library or bookstore, but there are lots of other places for kids to find interesting reads, including garage sales, Little Free Libraries, book swaps, borrowed books from neighbors or family members and more.