How To Encourage Your Kids' Summer Reading

By Danielle Wirsansky on June 25, 2021

Reading is a wonderful time to help encourage your kids to read. Even if they are not in school, reading on their own is something that can help them improve and increase their literacy. According to the Department of Education, the more students read or are read to for fun on their own time and at home, the higher their reading scores, generally.

In addition, students who choose what they read and have an informal environment in which to read tend to be more motivated, read more and show greater language and literacy development, which makes summer reading even more important.

As you can see, your kids’ summer reading can actually be quite important and influential. So how can you encourage it? Read on for some strategies to encourage your kids’ summer reading!

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Library Visits

A great way to get your child excited about reading is to give them an opportunity to go somewhere special to get books—the library! While going to a bookshop is nice, a child does not have the opportunity to pick out and read as many books as you want. Few parents could afford to buy their child every book they might want at a bookstore and would have to limit the number.

At the library, children can get as many books as they want. Additionally, they have the freedom to choose what they want to read, which can be much more effective in encouraging a child to read than handing them a book that you picked out instead. A visit to the library opens up a world of possibilities and choices for a child, when usually everything is already decided and dictated to them.

Allowing them to sit and read or participate in activities at the library will also help to foster an appreciation for libraries, books, and reading.

Read Out Loud

A nice family activity that can help to encourage summer reading for your kids is to read out loud. If your child is younger and has some difficulties reading independently, you can pick a book harder than what they could read on their own, like a chapter book, and read it out loud. Perhaps you read a chapter to them before bed every night, to keep up the pace of the book.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%), write their own names (54% vs. 40%), read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%).

If your child is a more advanced reader, another great reading out loud activity is to have your child read a book to you out loud while you are driving. Summertime is full of road trips and vacations. A great way to fill that driving time is to have your child choose a book the whole family is interested in and then read it aloud as your drive along the trip. This will ensure you have enough time together to finish the book.

If there are no long road trips in your summer plans, you can also make it a part of your daily driving routine. Read on the way to camp or on the way back. Make sure it is often enough that your child can keep track of what is happening in the book.

When you are engaged in the act of reading with your child, it makes them more engaged too, as well as more likely to learn to love to read.

Schedule Reading Time

Another strategy you can try to help encourage your kids’ summer reading is to schedule reading time. Obviously, you do not want to force your kids to read, but consistently helping your child set out time to read can be very beneficial.

Summertime is often a little bit more chaotic and unstructured than the school year is. Some children can get bored or feel like they have less to do. Scheduling reading time helps them to feel a little bit more in control and gives them something that they can do every day.

Choose a consistent time to read every day, like after lunch or before bed. This will help children to learn how to create and stick to a schedule, as well as how to figure out what kind of schedule works for them—all while also fostering a love for reading (and improving their reading and literacy skills too!).

Photo by Andy Kuzma from Pexels

Every child can learn to read and every child should be encouraged to read year-round, not just during summer. But when school is out, it is especially important that your children read and have the chance to make their own choices in regard to reading so that they can come to love reading too.

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