Getting Kids to Read Over Summer Vacation
During the hazy, lazy days of summer, it can be a challenge to keep children busy with productive and educational activities. Though many schools have required summer reading assignments, it is really important that your children get into reading just for the fun of it, too.
Here are some tips to get your kids to turn off the TV and computer and learn to love reading:
- Self-selection is important. It is important that your children have a chance to pick books that interest them, outside of the required summer reading list. If the reading list is heavy on history and your kid loves science fiction, encourage him to pick a bunch of sci-fi books to help him stay focused on how interesting reading can be.
- Keep on reading together. Remember how much you loved reading to your kids when they were younger? There's no reason that you have to stop now that your child can read on his own. Carve out times to read aloud to one another and to discuss the stories.
- Start a summer book club. Offering a space for your children to talk about books with friends is a useful strategy to keep them engaged in reading. You can select one book from your children's school's reading list or let them pick a book. Remember to keep it fun and informal so that their book club focuses on their personal responses to their selected book instead of discussing more traditional elements like plot, characters, etc.
- Read the first book of a series. This is a great way to get children started on a summer filled with reading. If they enjoy the first book, they will be eager to go on to the second, third and others in the series. Librarians always have great suggestions for book series.
- Look for books based on summer experiences. If you're planning a family vacation, pick a book that takes place at your summer destination, or if you're going to be trying out a new type of vacation together (e.g., camping or boating), pick a story that explores that same type of activity.
For more summer reading suggestions, check out the Teachers and Families site.
Check out our book lists for more ideas to get your kids reading: