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"Top 10" Summer Reading Tips!

Summer is rapidly approaching, and chances are you are just as ready for a break from the school year as your children! Summer is a wonderful time to rest, travel, and recharge. However, it does not have to be a time in which your child loses ground in their academic skills. Prioritizing daily reading during the summer is essential to maintaining your child's reading success all year long. Just a few minutes of reading each day can go a long way! While this is not an exclusive list of ideas (the possibilities are endless!) here are some tips and resources that might be helpful for encouraging your child to read, grow, and learn throughout the summer months!

Here are my "Top 10 Tips" for summer reading:

  1. Help your child set a reasonable reading goal for the summer and keep a reading log to chart progress toward the goal. Choose a reward for meeting the goal, and stick to it! If you let your child choose the reward (within reason, of course), he/she will be more likely to remain self-motivated. Note: Consider the length of books your child is likely to read when you set a goal. A child who reads lengthy chapter books is not likely to need as large of a goal as students who are reading beginning books.

  2. Establish a scheduled time for daily reading. Summer is often the time when we let go of our strict schedules and routines. When it comes to daily reading, however, I have found that if you don't have a set time for reading, it can easily get pushed to the back-burner with all the other "summer things." Making reading a part of your day, every day, ensures that it doesn't get neglected. Choose a time that is easiest for your family! A book before bedtime? A book in the car on your way to a daily outing? An afternoon reading session? Think of time that will be most cohesive for your household on a daily basis will help maintain the practice of reading daily.

  3. Read aloud with your child! They are far more motivated to read when it's an activity you enjoy together. Also, your oral reading can be a fantastic model for your child!

  4. Let your child enjoy audio/audible books or read-to-me apps! Your child does not "lose" ground by listening to good reading. This is particularly beneficial if they can view the words and read along as they listen.

  5. Take advantage of community resources through your local library. Many libraries offer summer reading programs that include weekly activities and incentives for reading. Taking part in a program like this along with other children can be very motivating!

  6. Sign up for Pizza Hut's Book It! Program for Summer! Did you know your children can earn free pizza for reading? You can have a free pizza party at home in June, July, and August to celebrate your child's summer reading all summer long! I love this one, because it provides an ongoing incentive for reading. Your child doesn't have to wait until the end of summer to "celebrate" his/her reading accomplishments - they get to enjoy a fun reward each month! (Plus - it doesn't cost you anything!)

  7. Make real life connections to books your child reads! Planning a zoo trip? Read about animals before your visit! Vacationing at the beach? Spend the week before your trip reading books with a beach/ocean theme. Even daily events (picnic at the park, grocery shopping, going to the movie theater) can easily be reflected in the stories your child is reading. The more connections they have to these texts, the more powerful their reading experiences (and comprehension skills) will be as well!

  8. Consider all the ways we can read! Trying out a new recipe? Let your child "help" by reading the steps aloud to you! Not only does this seamlessly provide oral reading practice, but it also establishes a very relevant purpose for reading in daily life. Going grocery shopping? Make your child the "list-keeper" (or some other creative name for the job) and have them read the items on the list aloud to you as you shop!

  9. Establish an old-fashioned "pen pal" (or an email pal!) for the summer! This can be a friend from school or even a relative. Not only does this provide a fun communication experience, but it also reinforces the connection between the reading and writing processes. This provides children with a personally relevant reason for reading and writing throughout the summer.

  10. Last, but certainly not least, let summer reading be FUN. Summer is a time when children can explore books of all kinds and discover what they like to read. They don't have to worry about a test at the end of the book, nor do they have to constantly read texts that someone else chooses for them. Let them choose books that appeal to their interests, and see where their reading journey takes them! The freedom of summer just might be exactly what your child needs to discover a love of reading!

Free resources to use at home:

This includes suggested activities through a summer bucket list and BINGO game as well as reading logs, word lists, word activities, and more!

This link includes ten weeks of suggestions to encourage your children to open books even after school doors close.

multiple collections of themed reading activities, printables, and read-alouds! The program includes a summer reading pledge and reading log!


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