Sunday, June 18, 2017

Summer reading: encouraging children to read

As summer approaches, kids get excited for freedom from the routines and structures of school. But parents often worry how they will encourage their children to keep reading. Kids have put a lot of effort into developing their reading abilities throughout the school year--what's going to happen to all those hard-earned skills over the summer?

Parents and children know that it’s important for children to develop strong reading skills--the question I hear so many parents asking is, “How can I get my child to enjoy reading more?” They’re absolutely right. Enjoying reading is key--we want our kids to get lost in books, totally absorbed in whatever they're reading.

Here are my tips for encouraging children to read:
1) Read aloud. Sharing stories together focuses on enjoyment and meaning. Keep reading aloud with kids, even as your children get older. If you're taking a car trip, try listening to an audiobook together.

2) Choice. What do your kids like to read? When they get to choose, they are more involved and engaged in reading. Use reading levels only as a general guide, not as a a limit on your children's reading.

3) Time and volume. Create structure that sets aside time for reading. The more children read, the better they'll get. Volume really does matter. My biggest question is how you take away distractions so kids can sink into reading a book.

4) Praise the behavior you want to see. Focus on noticing the positive. Ask your children's friends what books they'd recommend. Notice when your children read and praise their stamina.
Are you looking for summer reading ideas? Check out my 2017 summer reading recommendations, created for Berkeley Unified School District families. Please feel free to download these, print them and share with your friends. Most of all, try to make summer reading time a fun, relaxing part of your summer!

©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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