Suggestions for Childhood Summer Reading

Suggestions for Childhood Summer Reading

Ahh, summer. Lazy days. Sleeping in. Running through the sprinklers. Family trips to Yellowstone and the beach.

However, when your kids have too much time on their hands, summer can be every bit as challenging as the other months of the year. The theme song to a popular kids’ show on the Disney Channel describes the “problem” of “finding a good way” to spend summer vacation.

Of all the things you can encourage your kids to do this summer, there may not be a better way for them to spend time than pouring over the pages of some good books. Whether your kids are kindergarten-age (when their attention spans and reading comprehension can only handle picture books) or high-schoolers who can handle a good novel or non-fiction, you should take the time and effort to make sure they are reading.

Studies have shown that doing say gives them a leg up heading into fall semester. And the longterm benefits are tremendous. A literary mind has so many more advantages during adolescence and on through adulthood. Hear are some tips for making a summer reading program for your kids easy and fun:

• Begin with their likes. Every kid is unique and has unique interests. One of the worst things you can do to a child’s reading is ignore or disregard the things that excite them. Pay attention to topics that spark their interest, imagination and curiosity. You obviously must supervise their decisions, but let them choose for themselves the books they want to read. If they are interested in alien romance, cooking, or anything else, go with it. For every genre, there are good and bad books. Take some time to find books that are worth reading and in your kid’s wheelhouse.

• Visit the library. It’s a good idea to set apart a specific time each week–i.e. Mondays at 10:00 or Thursday after lunch—to take your kids to the library so they can look for books that interest them. This way, if your kid discovers that a book they picked out the previous week isn’t as exciting to them as they thought it would be, they can return it and pick out something new relatively quickly. Always have your kids pick three or four books each week so they have a variety of reading materials to keep them engaged.

• Be an example. If you never read, but expect your kids to be bookworms, good luck. This is especially important during the summer when grades and assignments are not motivating them to read. Rather than develop your own assignments and grading systems (groan), motivate your kids by reading yourself. Let them see you plop down on the couch or in the backyard hammock with a good book. Then share what you are reading. tell them why you are reading your book and what you love about it. Kids who read require a good role model.

— Fred Williams