With school out for the summer, children are soaking in the sun and playing outside with their friends.
Let’s face it, the last thing on their mind is schoolwork or reading.
While it’s important to give your children time to relax, it’s crucial to make sure they are reading books during summer break, or they may seriously fall behind once school starts up in the fall.
However, studies show that reading just four to five books this summer, your child’s brain will stay engaged and they won’t fall prey to the “summer slide”.
“Another study — this one led by James Kim of the Harvard Graduate School of Education — found that regardless of family income, the effect of reading four to five books over the summer was large enough to prevent a decline in reading-achievement scores from the spring to the fall. Kim’s other finding: children who said they had easy access to books over the summer ended up reading more. So seasonal alarm bells aside, the best way to push back against the summer slide is with your library card.”
But what do you do if your children doesn’t like to read?
There are simple ways to make reading fun again and give your child the control to dictate the path forward.
First, let your child pick out which book to read. Instead of forcing your book agenda onto your children, give them the freedom to choose the book they prefer.
If your daughter wants to read about horses and animals, let her. If your son is interested in science-fiction and alien books, let him read those.
The goal is to keep your children’s minds sharp by reading each week.
If they are reading something, even comic books, they are still reading!
Next, encourage your children to participate in your local library’s summer reading program! Often there are prizes like free lunch or movie tickets, just for completing the program.
Kids are inherently competitive, and by giving them a structured program it may help them to stay on track and read more.
Third, encourage your children to start a book club with their friends. Turn it into a social exercise.
Serve snacks, and let your children sit around the table and discuss what they each learned from the book.
As iron sharpens iron, children can learn from one another, and just might pick up on a new theme from their friend.
Finally, make books accessible in your home! By starting a home library, your children will be encouraged to explore new books.
Keep books in the family room, kitchen, hallway, and even in the car. By making books accessible, your child will be exposed to them and won’t have to hunt around to find something to read.
By making reading fun, you can ensure your child stays engaged this summer and doesn’t fall behind.
When school starts back up, your child’s brain will be fresh and ready to continue learning.
(h/t Mommy Underground)