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There is never a shortage of Summer Reading programs for kids once school ends and many offers prizes, points, graphs, and charts as a way to keep your child reading during the summer months.
This is not a bad thing at all. But as a lifelong learner, educator, and mom I can tell you that many kids will do better with reading if they don’t feel it’s “mandatory.” Sometimes when things feel a llliiitttteee too much like homework during the summer break, your young readers can slam on the proverbial brakes!
Reading Tip: The best way to motivate your reader is to know what inspires them!
Making reading an adventure and not a “task/ chore/requirement” during the summer months is a great way to help the increase the desire to read and keep them interested as well. Sit down together and pick out your summer reading or make a family trip to the library. Here’s some more tips:
Summer Reading Tree: Forming “Roots” for Motivated Readers
1. Skip the List-Make the Shelf:
Make book reading like a seasonal shift in your wardrobe. One of our first family activities when school gets out is to make The Summer Shelf. Off come the passing seasons books and on comes the fun books of summer. Some are old friends and others are new, but The Summer Shelf is a way to herald in the summer reading season.
2. Leave ’em Hangin:
You can leave your readers “hanging” and create a desire to come back to the story by pausing your read-aloud jjjussst before the end of a chapter. This creates so pretty big anticipation to keep them engaged and wanting more. Amp it up by throw in a little book-jumping adventure to go along with the story as well. While reading Tom Sawyer to my kids I practiced the “leave ’em hangin” method and threw in spontaneous bouts of white washing, cave touring, and river rafting. These activities created great anticipation and had them asking “what’s coming next?”
I’ve had very different experiences with all of my children on when exactly to plan our little reading adventures. My eldest daughter and youngest son like to intersperse their reading with related activities, while my second daughter insists that the entire book is read completely before we dive into the pages. By mixing up everyone’s reading and book jumping preferences, will help to keep them clamoring for the next reading session.
3. Reading in Snippets:
Reading isn’t just for books only. On the breakfast table, family room and screen porch coffee tables, and in certain bathrooms, I leave bite size reading materials like trivia, jokes, riddles, and quizzes which keep readers engaged. Reluctant readers do especially well with “snippets” of information.
4. Take-Alongs: Reading Gear for Families on the Move!
Reading while in the car traveling has been an absolutely life-saver. As a family we tend to travel a lot and even more in the summer months. The back pockets of the car seats are brimming with some of our favorite kids magazines. Magazine are a great “portable” reading options for kids and again, is “bite-sized” information to keep them interested and learning. There are so many wonderful and educational kids magazine available theses days too. Some of our favorites include:
- National Geographic kids
- Your Big Backyard
- Ranger Rick
- Stone Soup for young writers and artists
- Wilderness kids.
What are your summer reading picks?