5 Ways To Promote Summer Reading

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Summer is a wonderful time to be at the pool! But it is also a great time to enjoy books of all shapes and sizes.

Summer is a time for students to relax, have fun and enjoy the warm weather, but it is an especially important time for them to continue reading so that they do not lose the reading skills and levels that they gained during the school year. Research proves children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect.

The secret of turning non-readers into readers is by making reading fun. Right before the Summer break, start them back on the path to enjoying reading by reading aloud to them or by choosing reading materials that will make them chuckle and even laugh.

Here are some ways to get your students into the reading habit:

  1. Change the perception: Many schools and teachers require some form of summer reading and often hand out a specific list of books for children to read. This can make students dislike reading instead of enjoying it, which can ultimately cause children to become disinterested. Instead of handing out a required summer reading list, educators should allow students to choose their own books or try handing out a booklist that includes both academic and leisure titles. If children do end up with a required summer reading list, parents should try to find ways to make reading more fun. One idea is to read the same book as your children and then discuss the book with them or try to find a way to tie in a fun activity that relates to the book in some way.
  2. Variety is the key: One of the best ways to help children continue reading during the summer months is to encourage them to engage with a variety of reading materials. Magazines, board games, music lyrics, comic books, recipes, graphic novels, Audiobooks, web articles, and eBooks are all great alternatives to reading traditional books. Poetry is also important for children to read during the summer months, because it can help teach young children the sounds and rhythms of language and can help older children learn how thoughts, ideas, and emotions can be shared with a few select words.
  3. Be a Reading Role Model: If kids don’t see their parents, teachers, and other people important in their lives reading for fun, they most likely won’t place much importance on the value of reading. Teachers can talk to kids about some of their favorite books and make an effort to read their own book during class reading time. Parents can also make an effort to read in front of their kids when the TV is turned off or while they are waiting somewhere. Having a fun discussion about a book with other adults in front of children can also show kids that reading can be something they can discuss with others.
  4. Make it social: Showing kids that reading can be a social activity is another great way to encourage kids to read. Encourage kids to read books and talk about them with their friends or have them invite their friends along on special trips to the library or bookstore. Teachers can also set up a closed-group Facebook page for older students to share their thoughts about the books they read, and younger children will enjoy interacting with peers at summer reading programs. Book clubs for kids and teens are another great way to show them that reading can help them be more social.
  5. Schedule time for reading: If the teachers schedule 15 minutes a day for students to read in class, students may be more likely to read 15 minutes at home during the summer months. This is especially true if the parents also schedule 15 minutes of reading time at home each day. Parents should also encourage kids to try using different reading spots, such as in the park or on a porch swing, during the summer. Having a favorite reading spot and scheduled reading time can encourage children to keep reading and learning!

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