Take Your Child on a Summer Reading Adventure

If you were a bookworm growing up, you remember how hours would pass like moments as you read a treasured book, engrossed in a story and characters that transported you to a different world. Little did you know that experience was contributing to your ability to communicate, learn, and critically analyze among others. Reading also helps us to relax as well as focus and concentrate. Even if you weren’t a “reader,” you know the benefits for your child. Unfortunately, the summer months usually mean a decline in reading for most children, and that leads to the dreaded “summer slide” when most students lose an entire month of academic learning. In today’s tech-heavy world of entertainment and diversion, how can we entice our children to pick up a book?

Here are a few tips to put a good book in the hands of your child:

  • If your child doesn’t have a favorite book series or genre, talk about their interests and visit a local bookstore or library or look online using a site such as goodreads to explore by topic or area. (If you haven’t visited your local library, make a point of it. Nowhere else will your child be able to explore so freely or experience the joy of taking a treasured book home for a time with the promise of more to come when it is returned.)
  • Start small. The idea of reading a book can be overwhelming. Give your child a small daily reading goal (perhaps start with 15 minutes) and offer a modest incentive if they faithfully complete a week of reading. Engage in discussions about what they’re discovering. Better yet, read the book along with them.
  • Share a story. If you have a book you treasured as a child or think your child would like, share a little about the plot and characters, just enough to get your child engaged. Or, you can read the first chapter to your child or have an audio recording available on car rides to introduce them.
  • Model it. Tap into your inner child and pick up a book you think your child might like. Read it when they’re around and share the best moments. Then, be sure and leave it where your child can explore it on their own.
  • Have a Read-a-thon. Set aside a night each week for the whole family to read. Make cocoa and be sure everyone has their dedicated spot.

It’s never too early to foster a love of reading nor too late to kindle one (did you catch that?). For more ideas, check out this Parents article and some timely tips from Reading Rockets. Who knows? You just may find yourself rediscovering the joys of a good book!

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