It is summertime. The forecast calls for lots of sunshine, fun and awesome books!
Reading with children over the summer months is an essential activity. It plays an important role in maintaining and expanding their vocabulary and love of reading and likely preventing your children from the summer slide, a term used to describe the loss of reading achievement during idle periods (e.g. breaks on school).
- Make it Fun: Plan activities or outings around a book you are reading with your child. Read the book before the outing. Bring it with you to look at again. Talk about the activity and how it relates to the book. Visit the Governor’s Books from Birth website to download reading activities for Imagination Library books.
- Make it Easy: Have a stack of books by the bed, pack books in the suitcase for vacation, keep some books in the car. Take advantage of everyday moments to read or talk about the books you are reading.
- Keep a tally: Count how many books you read with your children this summer (or how many minutes). Keep track in a fun, visible way (e.g. a piece of paper with stickers on the fridge or build a lego structure where each block represents one book). Set a goal for how many books you want to read and plan something fun to celebrate. [Note: Kindergarten through 4th graders can join Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam’s Summer Reading Competition! All you have to do is track the number of minutes you read this summer and turn the information into your local library to enter a chance to attend a Kids State Dinner at the Tennessee Residence! Visit your local library or http://www.tn.gov/firstlady to get started.]
- Provide Choices: Let your children choose the books you read and their favorite summer reading spot (hammock, porch). Visit the local library and let your child pick out books to read. Many libraries also have summer reading programs and events!
- Set a time: Schedule a time for reading each day so it becomes part of the summer routine. Add in some fun/impromptu reading. For example, use a bell, whistle or other alert to signal it is time to “Stop Everything and Read!”