Reading is not something that needs to be forced in our house. My boys love to read, but they don’t always make the time for it. During the school year, they read books, but mostly to fulfill reading requirements and complete book reports. While they often get to choose these books, it doesn’t necessarily feel like reading for enjoyment.
Summer provides us all with a new reading opportunity. With less time spent in school, there are more hours to choose to do things we love to do. Our kids’ time can fill up quickly with practices, swimming, vacations, and endless hours outside. I love all of this. I also view summer as a time to help our kids fall in love with reading again, but we have to help them make the time for it.
If you have reluctant readers or kids who forget to make time for reading, here are a few ways to keep the reading love alive over the summer:
Daily Reading Time
What used to be afternoon nap time for my babies turned into rest time for my toddlers and now it is reading time for my big kids. We all need some rest in our day and even more so during the hot and hectic days of summer. When making your summer plans, find a regular time each day for reading hour. Put it on the schedule just like you do baseball practice or tennis lessons. I let my boys choose what they read with only two conditions:
- They must read a chapter book at their reading level.
- I must approve the book.
If they want to read other things, I totally support that, but it has to be outside of the hour of chapter book reading each day.
Summer Reading Programs
There are SO many summer reading programs to choose from, so I know there is one that will appeal to your child! Most summer reading programs include setting and meeting goals, programs and incentives along the way, and rewards at the end. Our library has always had a great one, with rewards including a free book, tickets to a local minor-league baseball game, free ice cream, and more. The kids look forward to reading and checking off their goals knowing they will be earning such fun rewards in the end! You can also check with bookstores and schools in your area for additional programs.
Morning Family Devotions
Add a little more reading to your day with morning family devotions before the day gets crazy. Assign each child who can read to be a designated reader for certain days of the week. Most family or children’s devotions are short and manageable for kids to read, so it won’t seem like a chore. Every little bit of reading counts and reading out loud in the safe family setting is a great confidence builder for the coming school year! I would recommend a devotional such as Devotions for Beginning Readers for younger readers.
(Be on the lookout in the next two weeks for a few more posts on the best devotional books for kids – just in time to add them to your summer reading list!)
What are some ways you try to make reading fun over the summer months?