"Back to school" ads are beginning to crop up and, for those of us who love and adore autumn, this is welcome news. Still, I remember the end-of-summer sadness when my kids were little. Kelly, today's guest author, is a former teacher and has some excellent suggestions for those last days before the new school year. So get those kids to the library and read, read, read!
Summer reading is an invaluable way to help your kids maintain their academic skills when they’re not in school. These tips will allow you and your kids to choose the best books for them to read on warm summer evenings!
Sign Up For Rewards
It would be great if children automatically loved to spend time reading, but many times it will take some incentive. Large book stores and local libraries offer summer reading programs for kids. Many of them come with coupons for free activities or food from local business around town as well as a free book once the summer reading calendar has been completed and turned in before school starts in the fall.
Read With a Purpose
When you think about summer reading, your thoughts may center primarily on works of fiction. However, nonfiction books can provide as much quality and entertainment as fiction can.
When it comes to choosing nonfiction books with your children, focus on their current interests. For example, my nine-year-old talks constantly about spy gadgets and being in a secret spy club. When we search the library computer card catalog, we use keywords like “spy books,” “nonfiction spy stories,” “spy books for kids.” Books that speak to your kids’ interests will be natural incentives for them to read.
Solve a Mystery
Another incentive is to choose an interesting mystery for you and your family to read together. Each evening, read a chapter or two by trading paragraphs or pages. Keep track of clues in a notebook or on a piece of poster board hung on the wall. Your kids will love the quality time and discussion with you as the summer passes with this mystery!
Share Your Favorites
Summer reading isn’t a new concept, and there’s a good chance that you can name favorite books you read when you were a kid (for me, books by Madeleine L’Engle and Beverly Cleary). Choose some of these books when you take your kids to the library, and suggest them to or read them with your kids on those hot, lazy summer afternoons. You’ll enjoy reading them again as well!
Silly Sounds and Rhymes
Summer reading doesn’t need to be serious study. Have fun with summer reading by balancing more significant literature with sillier books that play with language. Until recently, humor has been limited to Captain Underpants, but additional authors who specialize in reading fun include Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems, Richard Peck, Roald Dahl and Judy Blume. Don’t forget to include silly poetry in the mix – one of the best examples is Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
Invest a little time at your local library, and help your kids get into summer reading!
Kelly Wilson is a freelance writer who loves to read as well as a former elementary school teacher. For more information about how books can help prepare kids to see the dentist, contact Dr. Randy Morgan, a Dentist in Newberg, Oregon.