As a Reading Specialist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the summer slide is REAL. I swear, once the final bell rings, kids think that anything academic is thrown out the window. Now I’m not saying that you should have kids doing worksheets all summer long instead of drinking from the hose and staying up way too late laughing with friends, but mixing reading time into your daily summer routine is a fun and laid back way to prevent the summer slide. Kids pushing back on reading? Here’s how to win the summer reading battle.
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Set a Good Example
As with just about everything parenting related, practicing what you preach is key for shaping kids’ attitudes and behaviors. So when you sit down and read you are showing your kids that you value reading and that it plays an important role in your life. Talk about interesting books and magazines, share things you liked or disliked about characters, and so forth. Just talking about books is almost as good as reading itself.
Designate Reading Time
Some families have quiet time (check out this article for great, screen-free toys that keep kids busy and learning even during quiet time), but in our house we have reading time. It is 30 minutes every summer day when we drop everything and read. Now, it’s easier for me to do because I work from home and am around to sit and read with the kids during the day but if you work a typical 9-5 outside of the house, you still have options. I mean, what better to wind down after a long day than with some popsicles, a cozy blanket, and a bunch of your family’s favorite books?
Find Great Books That Kids Actually WANT to read
So many parents ask me how to get their kids reading, and I always tell them that the most important thing is getting books that your child actually enjoys into his or her hands. So if your school aged kiddo is obsessed with Minecraft like mine, celebrate that! Does your little reader prefer to read the same book over and over? I promise that it is a good thing for their cognitive development even though it might be painful for you.
If you are looking for some new titles to add to your family’s library and have already checked out the titles on my Ultimate Family Book List, I highly recommend these entertaining tales. They have beautiful illustrations, amusing characters, and powerful messages that make for great family conversations.
Don’t Be Afraid to Integrate Some Screens
I know that I have shared my screen time contract before, but I just want to remind you that since we live in a tech based world nowadays, there are great ways to incorporate reading and technology. There are lots of fun and interactive e-books that you can check out on your iPad or Kindle, and my family has loved having a Reading Eggs subscription. It makes practicing reading fundamentals actually FUN, which parents know is a feat in and of itself.
For other ideas on how to combat the summer slide, check out these water-based learning activities.
Happy Summer and Happy Reading!
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