More than 50 million children in the U.S. have kicked off their summer vacations and their annual break from homework, tests and assignments. Unfortunately, many of them will stop reading while having fun in the sun and experts say parents need to make sharing books a part of summer vacation and establish regular reading routines for their children.
Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that provides resources and guidance for families to implement home-based literacy routines, has several tips for parents to make reading a part of the summer break.
“Summer reading should be all about the parent-child experience,” Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., president and CEO of Raising A Reader, said. “Rather than having it be a chore, or a list of must-read books, summer is a terrific opportunity to build family reading experiences. Whether it’s as simple as reading with children so they can see how much adults love reading, or visiting places and doing activities tied to a book, there are a host of ways reading can help children enjoy the summer and be ready to start school in the fall.”
Here are some of the Raising A Reader tips for parents:
1. Reading often gets lost in the shuffle of summer activities such as camp, sports and vacation travel. Schedule a regular time to share books with your child and establish a regular routine to ensure reading doesn’t become a low priority and has the same importance as other activities.
2. It’s OK to let your child read e-books if he or she is comfortable using a tablet, but remember, whether it’s an e-book or a print book — especially for young children — the most important thing is to spend time together sharing the book. It’s about the experience, not the technology.
3. Make it fun. Have your child come up with a different ending to a story, play ‘what if’ with the characters or the setting, or read the book from end to beginning. Come up with fun ways to engage your child beyond the actual reading of the book.
4. Let your child choose. Books are great but so are comic books, magazines and even educational websites such as National Geographic Kids or The Discovery Channel. Let them chase their interests and they’ll be reading more than they realize.
5. Create an outdoor reading area so the whole family can enjoy the summer weather and not feel stuck inside. Children generally read indoors, so being outdoors will create a new environment for enjoying a book and boost a child’s enthusiasm for reading.
More tips on page 2 >>>