After school gets out for the summer, many kids don’t pick up a single book during the summer vacations. But it is important to keep your kids reading for a few reasons. First, it helps prevent ‘summer slide’, a loss of learning that takes place during the summer months when kids are not in school. Even more importantly, reading is, and should be, a part of everyday life, regardless of whether kids are in or out of school. With encouragement and support your child can develop a love for reading that will stay with them throughout life. Helping your child read during the summer break will not only prevent ‘summer slide’, but it can foster a love for reading.
We have compiled a few tips to help keep your child reading all summer.
Plug in to Your Local Library: The Greater Victoria Public Library not only has vast selection of books but offers an array of ways to engage with books — reading programs and clubs, parent and tot story time, and other academic focused programming. In fact, did you know that the GVPL has the third highest number of library materials in the country? Whatever you are looking for, chances are high that you can find it. Visiting your local library on a regular basis (weekly) will help your child become familiar with the library and they will come to know it as a fun place to be. Plus the enthusiasm of the librarians is infectious. Here’s a listing of libraries GVPL libraries.
Model Desired Behaviour: We all know that children model their parent’s behaviour. Make sure you are reading regularly and that there is plenty of reading material scattered throughout your house — not just novels but magazines, newspapers and local Victoria publications as well.
Set Time Aside For Reading: With so much going on in the summer, it’s easy to cut out or forget about reading. Parents should designate 20 to 40 minutes in a day just for reading. If you set aside a time each day, or set of days in the week, you and your children will find it easier to stick to the schedule and demonstrate the importance of reading. Victoria summers are short, so don’t be afraid to take your book to the beach or park.
Gamify Reading: The objective is to create some way of having your child track his or her progress and achieve a reading goal. There are many different ways to do this. Your child could keep a reading journal, tracking the number of pages and minutes spent reading each day, with a set goal of trying to the to 1,000 pages during the summer. Another option is to provide an incentive, such as a prize at the end of the summer for reaching a goal. For other children, the accomplishment of reading is reward in itself. If your child is motivated through social contact, plug into the Victoria summer reading programs at your local library.
Road Trip Reading: My mother always said: “Never get caught without something to read.” If you are planning a family trip this summer, make sure to add books to your packing list. Whether you are travelling by car or plane, there is usually lots of waiting and ample time for reading. Try to limit your child’s screen time and stock up on books from your library instead.
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