Fun Reading Tips and Strategies!
Guest post by Katie Glennon
It’s summertime, the season of vacations and activities outdoors and in the sun! But that doesn’t mean activities like reading books have to stop. Kids who don’t read during the summer can experience summer learning loss and lose up to two to three months of reading skills. Because of these summer learning loss statistics, it’s important to include summer reading into your vacation plans.
Stop that summer slide with these tips and fun ideas to keep your readers motivated all summer long!
Summer & Any Time Reading Tips
- Read with your child. No matter how old your children are, make time to read with your children. Have fun with the characters and discussing the events in the story.
- Read alongside your child. Model the love for reading by reading your own books or magazines within sight of your children. They will learn by your example that reading is something to do for fun and relaxation.
- Establish a reading routine. Forming a loose routine during the day where there is a quiet reading time after lunch during the hottest part of the day or thirty minutes before bed or both will get everyone in the habit of picking up a book.
- Use free time during summer to explore topics and areas of interest through books and other reading materials.
- Have a basket or crate full of assorted books and other reading materials in sight in a busy living area of the house.
- Have a wide variety of reading materials available from assorted kinds of books (fiction and non-fiction) to magazines for kids (great birthday and Christmas presents) to comic books and graphic novels to brochures about places to children cookbooks and how-to books.
- Have a listening basket filled with audiobooks and books with matching audios or have the audiobooks on a digital device ready to go when your child is ready.
- Let your children select and read the kinds of books and levels that interest them to help develop their enjoyment for reading. You can always throw in a different kind of book or slightly more challenging book once in a while to introduce them to something different.
Activities to Help Promote Reading Fun and Enjoyment
- Have your children pick a theme for themselves or for the whole family to read about and look for field trips to take or activities to attend connected to that theme. You can tie in projects or your own activities at home centered around the theme as well.
- Go to museums or other places that tie into a book your child is reading and enjoying the topic to further explore the subject of the book.
- Have fun with activities or projects at home that connect to the subject of a book (fiction or nonfiction) or an activity a character performs in the book your child is reading. For example, cooking up recipes, planting a garden, completing art or craft projects, conducting science experiments or building projects.
- Start with a Book.org has a list of Reading Adventure Pack suggestions to create centered around a list of books to explore.
Summer Reading Incentive Programs
There are a number of summer reading incentive programs your children can participate in this summer. Some are digital and online; while others are at physical locations. You can also create your own by printing free online reading charts, establishing your own reading goals and rewards, and posting the chart where your child can track his own progress.
Local libraries have reading reward programs that usually include incentives to earn by reading books as well as activities to interest children in reading.
Digital Reading Incentive Program
Homeschool.com’s Summer Reading Challenge – Begins June 1 – complete the full reading challenge and win a book!
Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge – 18-week summer reading challenge where your child completes weekly reading challenges to unlock digital rewards.
DOGObooks – Book reviews by other kids and your child can write and share his own.
Amazon Summer Reading Challenge – Read eight books and earn a certificate and a free book.
Sylvan Book Adventure – Read books and take short quizzes to earn points toward prizes.
Reading Rewards – Create your own reading goals and prizes using their online reading logs.
Junie B. Jones Kids’ Club – Do you have a Junie B. Jones fan? This online book club is for you.
Sync Summer Reading Program for Teens – Free audiobooks each week.
Other Summer Reading Incentive Programs
TDBank – Read ten books and earn $10 to deposit in a savings account.
Barnes and Noble – Earn a book by reading a designated number of books and write about them in a journal.
Chuck E. Cheese – Complete a reading rewards chart to earn tokens.
Showcase Cinemas – Write a book report to see a free movie.
Pottery Barn Kids – Read fourteen books to receive a free book and enter a drawing for a backpack full of books.
Half Price Books – Earn gift card for reading fifteen minutes per day.
Books A Million – Read four books and earn a free drawstring backpack.
Applebee’s Book Worm Reading Club – Read ten books for a free kid’s meal.
Whether you charge full steam ahead into a summer reading program filled with incentives or you mosey into reading together on a blanket under a tree each afternoon, make sure to take the time to make reading a priority and family habit this summer and avoid those summer learning loss statistics!
Katie Glennon – Volunteer Contributor
Katie is a homeschool mom who graduated two boys who are now in college. Katie has an English and Secondary Education degree with classroom, online, and coop teaching experience as well as teacher training for grades PK through adult. Katie loves learning history through hands-on activities and science through nature exploration and has a passion for literature and the written word! Katie loves to share her experiences and joy for learning with other homeschoolers to help them make their journey more enjoyable and less stressful! Visit her at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage!