When it comes to summer, reading may not be the first thing, or even in the top 10 of things, that children have in mind to do.
But reading can be the ideal summer activity. It’s portable, fun, can involve the whole family and will help a child academically.
Current research points out that increased summer reading reduces learning loss. According to the National Education Association (NEA), children who don’t read over the summer risk losing up to three months of important skills learned during the school year.
The NEA adds that parents should remember that children need free time in the summer to relax and enjoy the pleasures of childhood. So summer reading should be fun.
The following are a few tips to make reading enjoyable for children this summer:
Read aloud together with your child every day
Make it fun by reading outdoors on the front steps, patio, at the beach or park. Also, let your children read to you. For younger children, point out the relationship between words and sounds.
Set a good example
Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it
This is the way to develop habits of the mind and build capacity for thought and insight.
Let children choose what they want to read
Don’t turn your nose up at popular fiction. It will only discourage the reading habit.
Buy books on tape, especially for a child with a learning disability
Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.
Subscribe, in your child’s name, to magazines
Subscribe to magazines such as “Sports Illustrated for Kids,” “Highlights for Children” or “National Geographic World.”
Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary. Ask them what they think about what they’ve read, and listen to what they say.
Introduce your child to the works of pen pals
Ease disappointment over summer separation from a favorite school friend by encouraging them to become pen pals.
Present both children with postcards or envelopes that are already addressed and stamped. If both children have access to the internet, email is another option.
Make trips a way to encourage reading by reading aloud traffic signs, billboards, notices
Show your children how to read a map, and once you are on the road, let them take turns being the navigator.
Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook
Take your children to the library regularly
Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.
Local reading programs
The Lannom Memorial Library is currently holding its annual summer reading program. This year’s program is called Building a Better World, and will feature story hours, creative arts, performances and other special events.
The event is free and open to the children 18 and under. A free lunch will also be served at 11 a.m. each day. The library asks that lunch be pre-ordered by 10 a.m. each day.
For more information and list of events, visit online at www.lannom.org.
Summer Reading List
“Are We There Yet?” by Dan Santat
“Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants!” by Bob Shea
“Duck, Duck, Dinosaur” by Kallie George
“Audacity Jones to the Rescue” by Kirby Larson Scholastic
“The Blackthorn Key” by Kevin Sands Aladdin
“Crimebiters! My Dog Is Better than Your Dog” by Tommy Greenwald
“Beetle Boy” by M.G. Leonard and illustrated by Julia Sarda Scholastic/Chicken House
“The Bitter Side of Sweet” by Tara Sullivan Putnam
“Booked” by Kwame Alexander Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“Bull” by David Elliott
“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” by Mackenzi Lee
“March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin,” by Nate Powell
“Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team” by Steve Sheinkin
“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
“Same Beach, Next Year: A Novel” by Dorothea Benton Frank
“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles