Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer - Kids - Reading

When school ended for us a few weeks ago, the girls' teachers sent home reminders reiterating the importance of reading every day.  These reminders are sent home at the end of every school year, along with information outlining how the kid who reads 20 minutes a day comes out ahead of the kid who doesn't.  I have it easy when it comes to summer reading because the girls are readers.  They enjoy reading.  It's not forced or a chore.  

I sometimes wonder if readers are natural born or created.  Can you make a reader?  Do my kids love to read because I love to read?  I don't have the answer to that question, but I do want to share what we do when it comes to summer reading.  

Summer Reading Programs  

Local Library

Check your local library to see if any summer reading programs are offered.  The girls have mostly outgrown the programs offered by our library but it was fun while it lasted.  The one which they enjoyed the most was the weekly raffle.  Each week, approximately five different baskets are offered as raffle prizes.  Each basket contains two/three books and other small items, such as a stuffed animal.  You earn a raffle entry by reading.  For fourth graders, 20 minutes read equals one raffle entry.  We've checked out the raffle prizes each week this summer and thus far, it has been geared toward younger kids. (And that's okay.) 


Each student was sent home with an optional summer reading packet.  This packet (again) includes information on the importance of continued reading during the summer break.  There's a calendar for July and August with activities for certain days.  For example, one activity may be to find a recipe and bake with your family.  This isn't reading a book, but you do have to read a recipe.  If you don't want to or can't complete the activity for the day, 20 minutes of book reading is acceptable.  A parent needs to initial the calendars and sign off that the student has completed the activities or read for at least 20 minutes each day.  When school starts back up, you return the reading packet for a prize and your name listed as a summer reader on a wall in the school.       

Barnes & Noble

Have you heard about the summer reading program from B&N?  Read any 8 books and receive a free book.  Details can be found here.

More Than Books

There are so many reading options out there - kids shouldn't feel limited to reading only books.  How about magazines?  I have one who is obsessed with Time for Kids.  (She collects them.)  We've picked up free booklets on Cape Cod, one specifically for kids, and the girls have read through those (multiple times.)     


We visit the library several times a month and the girls all leave with full arms.  I try not to ever rush in order to give them time to look around.  This can sometimes be the best way to find a book.  A few weeks ago, Emily spotted a book propped up on top of a bookshelf at the library.  She grabbed it and had it read in two days.

Family Reading Time

Set a timer and have everyone read for 20 minutes.  

Fostering a Reading Habit

Kids are creatures of habit.  When the girls were really little, we read books to them at bedtime every night.  When they learned to read on their own, they read before they went to sleep every night.  After years and years of reading at night, it has become a habit.  It actually messes them up when they can't read at night.  If we are out and about at night (like on the 4th of July) and return home past the time when they normally fall asleep, they usually ask to read for a few minutes to wind down.    


Bree at Clarity Defined said...

I love that your girls are readers and can only hope I'll be able to foster the love of reading in any future children I might have.

When I was a kid, two of my favorite gifts were reading related. My aunt got me a subscription to the American Girl magazine for Christmas for a few years which I loved getting every other month and instantly devouring and I remember I also got a subscription to the Babysitter's Club Book Club (probably from my parents). I loved when my new books came in the mail and I'd usually have them all ready within the weekend even when I tried to space them out to make them last.

Aimee said...

Reading is my go-to when I get into bed at night. Seems to help my brain switch off, sometimes this only takes a few minutes and I struggle to keep my eyes open so I can actually read a few more pages! I encourage my 3 kids to read too if they arent too late getting to bed. Gives them time to wind down and hopefully switch off similar to what I do and get a good sleep.

Rachel said...

I love this. My son is still a toddler so we read together, but I love how much he has started to enjoy books in the past 6 months. My only tips (from life as a reader) -

1 - have lots of books in your house. Obvious, but still.
2 - read comics, newspapers, nonfiction, etc. My brother isn't a huge reader but he loved reading Calvin & Hobbes and lots of nonfiction stuff.
3 - request books for kids. I let my son choose his own books even at 2, but I also have a list of books i want to read with him that I request at the library and that way they're there waiting for me at various times. Only annoying at my library that holds are only kept for 3 days, so sometimes I miss them.