Summer is a fantastic time to inspire a love of reading in children. Research shows that just twenty minutes of reading per day can help them retain grade-level skills. Whether they are avid readers or reluctant ones, here are some helpful tips to ensure they stay engaged with books throughout the summer. Then check out our suggested summer reads below!
- Let them choose: Take a break from focusing on reading levels and let your child choose their own books. Whether it’s nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, or humor, provide ready access to their preferred reading material. Representation and the chance to escape into another realm are key factors that engage pre-teens and teens.
- Talk about their books: Engage your child in conversations about what they’re reading. Ask them what they like about their books, which will encourage them to make connections and think critically. Summarizing and sequencing events will challenge their reading comprehension skills.
- Let them put down books: If your child is struggling or bored with a book, allow them to put it down. Reading should be fun, and the more they enjoy their books, the more likely they are to continue reading. Encourage them to try different titles until they find the perfect fit.
- Create an inviting reading space: Let your child choose their reading space and ensure it’s well-lit and comfortable. If they find themselves engrossed in a book past bedtime, be flexible and avoid asking them to stop reading.
- Incorporate reading into games: During family game nights, include word- and vocabulary-based games like Scrabble, Skrami and Mitomaġija. Completing crosswords or word puzzles in the morning is another opportunity for learning new words and practicing spelling.
- Encourage reading to younger siblings: Let your middle-grade child take over the nightly reading ritual for their younger sibling. This not only ensures they read regularly but also spreads the enthusiasm for stories.
- Visit the bookstore together: Make visiting the bookstore a regular event where you can spend quality one-on-one time with your child and discover new books together.
- Encourage journaling: Journaling is a skill-building activity that allows your child to record their observations, ambitions, problems, and solutions. Writing about their books helps them explore their interests and refine their book-reviewing techniques.
- Explore books based on popular media: Help your child discover books that continue the adventures of their favorite superheroes or characters from movies or TV series. These literary extensions can be enticing for reluctant readers.
- Embrace re-reading: Encourage and allow your child to re-read their favorite books. Each read offers an opportunity to find new words, contexts, and deeper enjoyment.
- Keep books within reach: Leave reading materials in various places like dining tables, sofas, bathrooms, playrooms, and cars. When a book is readily available, your child can easily pick it up and read.
- Embrace comics: Comics help with decoding and provide instant visual gratification that appeals to kids in today’s highly visual world.
- Start reading together: If your child has trouble getting started or finds books boring, support the experience by reading the first few pages or chapters to them.
- Use reading challenges and rewards: Incentivise reading by creating challenges or BINGO boards, or come up with treats or rewards to acknowledge their progress.
We hope these tips help you create a summer reading experience that your child will enjoy. Remember, the goal is to inspire a love for reading and allow them to explore their interests. Happy reading!