Keep your children reading this summer. The benefits of summer reading are immense for children. Children will typically experience a “slide” in the break period. Continuing to read can not only avoid this but serves to nurture a positive attitude about reading.
How do you motivate your children to want to read? There are always treats and prizes, but the real deal is that children need to “fall in love” with reading. If the only time you pick up a book is to study, well then, that’s no fun. There is so much fun to be found in books! Places, people, animals, art, history, adventures, mysteries, poetry, literature, science, math, formulas, theories and more.
Reading allows children to expand their imagination, thinking and horizons. While studying is at a minimum, children have time to relax and have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery through books.
Support their healthy reading habits but don’t get pushy about it. Let them lead their own reading exploration – allow them to find books on topics that interest them. Help them learn their way around the public library. Even though there are great choices available for digital download, there is something magical about having a printed book in your hands and thoughtfully manipulating the pages. Encourage them to find different, comfortable places to read instead of where they typically do their schoolwork. Try reading the same book with them and then discussing it if they are open to that. Consider turning the topic into a group field trip or hands-on project. An example would be: your child really likes gardening. During the time they are enjoying these books, check out your local botanical gardens or if you are close to a community garden visit that. You may want to encourage them to start their own small garden or potted herb garden. Only do these if they are fun. Remember, summer reading is supposed to be pleasurable.
A little more on those prizes and treats – there’s nothing wrong with that. Some children thrive with challenges and rewards. There are tons of summer reading challenges and incentive programs that offer structure, prizes and treats. There are different ones in every area, so Google could be your best friend in locating these.
Summer is almost upon us. Have fun, make memories, and read often!