By Annemarie Bennett, Cove Media Center Specialist
Summer is a great time to unwind from the busy school year, and the perfect time to incorporate reading into your family routine at home. You’ll not only instill good habits in your child, but also help them maintain the skills they’ve worked so hard to develop during the school year. Here are some suggestions for keeping reading enjoyable for your child this summer:
1. Visit the library! Make it a weekly stop much like the grocery store, and bring your child. Most public libraries have summer reading programs that can be fun and rewarding. Assist your child in acquiring a library card, which can be motivating to check out their own books and other materials. When you’re there, check out books for yourself so your child sees you modeling reading as a lifelong pleasurable activity.
2. Give your child choices when choosing what to read. Say “yes” as often as you can. A book your child wants to read is the one you want to take home. Don’t worry if a book seems short, too easy, has pictures, or is a title that is unappealing to you.
3. Avoid pushing difficult books that may frustrate your child. Think about how often you reach for lighter “beach” reads in the summer, and let your child do the same. Allowing your child to succeed and get absorbed in the book will lead to more reading.
4. If going on a summer road trip, consider an audiobook for the car that the whole family can enjoy instead of everyone plugging into their own devices.
5. Read aloud to your child. There is no “cut off” age for this activity. Reading aloud is a great opportunity to access a novel or higher level text your child may want to read but would otherwise struggle with on their own. Not only will you bond over the shared experience of reading a great book together, but you will also model fluent oral reading and strengthen vocabulary and language skills.
6. Finally, talk to your child about what you’re reading, what you like and don’t like about a story, and encourage them to talk about what they like and dislike in the books they read. Discussing stories in this way is a great way to keep the parent-child lines of communication open.