Avoid the Summer Slump: Encouraging Summer Reading

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Encourage summer reading: any place, any time, anywhere! photo by Stephanie Toews
Encourage summer reading: any place, any time, anywhere! photo by Stephanie Toews

Each year as we approach summer vacation parents everywhere want to keep their children’s minds active. Ask their teachers and most of them will highly suggest having kids read daily through the three months of break. This sounds great in theory but we moms know that it can prove to be a challenging feat. So you’re not left saying, well, it was a good idea at the time…Here are some suggestions to help inspire your kids to read this summer.

Tips for Encouraging Summer Reading

  • Library field trips – Visit the library frequently and allow your kids to pick out several books that they are interested in. If you are in need of suggestions, ask the librarians and they can direct you to the right place.
  • Summer reading programs – Whether it’s through the library, bookstore, or online there are several reading programs available for kids. These programs often will offer incentives to keep kids reading and they are free to enroll in.
  • Make a date – Set a time each day for kids to read quietly in their rooms or create a cozy book nook for them to curl up in each day. If it’s on the schedule, it will happen. This is a great way for them to relax after a morning of playing outside or swimming and bonus quiet time for mom, too.
  • Reading log – Have them record their reading progress in a special journal. They could even write a little report on the books they read beside each title and doodle an illustration. This is a great way to track their progress through the summer.
  • Read together – Kids of all ages love to hear books read aloud to them. While you are reading to them use lots of expression teaching them to do the same. What a great opportunity to snuggle up together and relax. Take turns reading pages and this will encourage them to follow along.
  • Pack books-Lead by example – Whenever you’re travelling in the car, sitting by the pool or waiting for kids’ lessons to end make sure you have books with you (for you and them – that whole do as I do and as I say, deal). Bring audiobooks for long trips that the entire family will enjoy. They will help pass the time and give the family topics of conversation to discuss together.
  • Challenge them – As a child, I had a teacher challenge me to read 100 books over summer break. Guess what… I did it! This first grade teacher inspired me all the way into adulthood. Just having her believe in me was all I needed to complete the challenge! Maybe it won’t be 100 books but figure out a reasonable goal and let your kids know you are confident they will rise to the challenge.

These are just a few ways to inspire your little bookworms to keep reading all summer long. Keep an eye out for part two of my blog complete with reading lists for kids of all ages!