Even if the calendar doesn’t yet agree, it is summer. If yours is like most families, that means that school is out (or not). Our family schools year-round. We have a shorter school day, a more relaxed schedule. One of the reasons for this is to fight “summer slide”, the loss of skills due to not using or practicing them. This is the “losing” of academic gains made through the school year. Regular reading is one of the best ways to fight summer slide. Summer reading should be fun and easy. Not so easy that skills are not being maintained, but easy in that not much more is expected than reading for reading’s sake (no unit studies, mama). Summer reading is when we can all fall in love with reading (again).
Choosing their own titles
Our local library has a summer reading program that encourages not just reading, but reading out of the reader’s “comfort zone”. To fill in a space, or earn a ticket towards a prize, certain criteria must be met. Non-fiction, historical, local author are some of the possibilities. This nudge to check out something besides your “regular read” (can you say tween boy and comics?) with the possibility of a prize is just the ticket (pun intended). I don’t have to resort to bribery or nagging, and my children are choosing their own titles (within reason, I still keep veto power).
Fun and easy
What if you don’t have a local library or they don’t offer a summer reading program? Thankfully, there are several other options out there. Depending upon what is tracked (minutes read vs books read), you could even participate in more than one program at a time. Or make up your own – you know your children best.
Which prizes do you offer? Or none at all, reading can be its own reward. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to do too many at a time — summer reading should be fun and easy, remember?
How to find these summer reading options? I’m happy you asked! I’ve put together a list of my favorites.
- My own reading chart to track time spent reading
- Not Consumed’s Summer Reading Challenge Bingo
- Traveling Through the Pages Summer Reading Adventure
- Read the World Summer Book Club 2017
Not seeing one you want to follow? Don’t forget options from your favorite book-sellers. Another favorite reading program is BookIt sponsored by PizzaHut. This program runs through the school year – but sign-ups are open now. Your materials will be sent to you late summer/early fall. While you are there, check out the reading activities under summer reading.