Most of us know that reading books fosters a good imagination, brings quiet to a chaotic day, and increases the skill and vocabulary of our children, but encouraging your child to read throughout their summer vacation also means that the dreaded summer slide takes a back seat.
Plug in to Your Local Library
Of course your local library provides access to an enormous selection of books, but more than that, most libraries offer programs and clubs that your child can participate in.
A weekly trip to the library, if feasible, allows your children to become acquainted with library etiquette. Most librarians relish in children paying them a visit and will encourage your child to find the fun in the programs on offer and in choosing their own books.
Set an Example
Monkey see monkey do. Make sure you read regularly and that there is plenty of reading material in your home. Plug into a book instead of the TV and let your children see the pleasure you take in the “out of this world transportation” only books can create.
Studies show that this sort of example is particularly important for boys, who often have less male role models in their academic life. Seeing dad enjoy a book is a huge step to study and engagement for boys.
Set Time Aside For Reading
Parents should designate 20 to 40 minutes a day just for reading. Find a time each day where your child knows that it’s sit down quiet time and make sure they have a good book on the go. Sit down at the same time and read your own material or make sure you follow the tip above and let your child see you reading at different times of the day — even if it’s a magazine or newspaper. If your child knows that before dinner or pre-bedtime is reading time, it won’t take long for them to expect it.
Make it Fun!
There are so many different ways to ‘gameify’ reading, but the objective is to create some way of having your child track his or her progress and ultimately reach a reading goal. As an example, your child could maintain a reading journal, tracking the number of pages and minutes spent reading each session, with a goal of trying to get to 1,000 pages during the summer. Some parents offer incentives to their child with a small prize at the end, but for others, the accomplishment of reading is reward itself.
Road Trip Reading
As long as you have no motion sickness issues in the family, road trip reading is essential! This is where the library comes in; stock up on books and hit the road. If your child has a particular series he or she is enjoying, surprise them with the next few books in the series. Limit their screen time and make travel all about being accompanied by good books.