Because I am an English teacher, I’m always encouraging children to read.
Parents ask me time and again “How can I get my kid to read?” When it comes to encouraging children to read over the summer, my answer is basically the same each time: Find what they like to read, limit screen time, and model reading habits. Here are some helpful ways to encourage your children to read this summer!
Find out what they like
Do they enjoy reading mysteries, graphic novels, fantasies, or realistic fiction? Whatever it is, figure it out, then do some research. Scholastic, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble are all good resources to help you find books of the same genre that are similar to one your child may have liked. Once you have found what they like, you can invest in purchasing or go the library to get books.
Limit screen time
Limit screen time. Ouch. That’s a never ending battle! You could do this a couple different ways. One way is to make sure screens are off at a certain time in the evening. You can also set a particular amount of time for reading or have a time during the day like quiet time in the afternoon.
Take Them Somewhere to get Access to Books
Take your children to the library, Barnes and Noble, or Half Priced Books. You can choose one or all of them! All 3 of these locations have excellent summer reading programs with plenty of incentives for your little ones to log the reading hours. Some public libraries give away headphones, bags, and enter you into fun raffles for local sports outings. Barnes and Noble and Half Priced Books also have reading minute incentives with free books or money toward their next book.
Model Reading to Accomplish Summer Reading
Parents should model reading! If your child sees you on your phone or in front of the TV most of the time, they won’t be encouraged to read. If you are reading books in the evening or the newspaper in the morning, your children will be more likely to pick up a book!
Something to Note About Summer Reading
One final tip: sometimes people get upset if their child is reading something way above or below their grade level. Don’t be. If your child is reading, that’s great! I encourage children to read anything they see–magazines, graphic novels, newspapers, or even signs. Every single one of them is teaching them about this big world.
Read Out Loud
I’m a firm believer of reading to your children every day from the day they’re born until they leave your house. Let them to read to you. Have them read on their own! Have them read to their younger siblings or older siblings. Have them read to the dog, the cat, the birds. None of those ways of reading are bad. If anything, you are helping your child expand their vocabulary, reading skills, and imagination. As long as they are reading something (anything!) they are expanding their minds and knowledge of the world!