Many children look forward to summer as a time to unwind, relax and enjoy—and reading for fun can definitely enhance the summer. “The school year is busy and most students read plenty, but not necessarily the books or materials of their choosing,” says Eileen Huntington of the Huntington Learning Center. “Summer reading can be so much fun because children can read whatever they choose, take their time and explore topics they find interesting.”
It’s easier than you think to make reading a part of your summer routine, says Huntington. Here of a few tips:
Do some research. Teachers and education professionals know well that you’ll have far better luck getting children to choose to read if they find books that interest them. So, do a little homework on books that might appeal to your child. What topic, sport or activity is your child into right now? If you need help, ask your librarian for recommendations. Websites like goodreads.com are also helpful for searching genres (even getting as specific as children’s classics, juvenile, young adult fiction, realistic young adult, teen and young adult contemporary, for example) and reading reviews.
Make it family time. Set aside 20 or 30 minutes each evening for the entire family to get out their books and read together. Make reading time a treat by setting out a tray of summer snacks and a pitcher of ice cold lemonade. If you have a shady spot in the backyard, transform it into your summer reading spot with a few lounge chairs or hammocks. The more you can treat reading like a fun, “want-to” activity, the more your child will embrace it and look forward to it.
Sign up for summer reading programs. Summer reading programs do a great job of rewarding readers for achieving milestones and building a sense of community among readers. Huntington Learning Center’s Reading Adventure Program runs all summer long and has children choose books from a pre-selected book list with many high-interest, popular books. Students record their reading in a reading “passport” and get recognized for meeting their goals. Don’t forget to check out summer reading programs at your local library and bookstores as well.
Visit the library. Librarians are the biggest proponents of summer reading and you’ll find lots of ideas to get your child inspired at your local library. Look into summer book clubs, summer reading programs, reading activities for teens and family reading programs. At a minimum, stopping by the library regularly is a great way to keep reading top of mind and set and meet goals. For every book that your child completes, why not reward him or her with a stop at the ice cream shop on the way home?
Summer is an ideal time to incorporate reading into the daily schedule—and the perfect opportunity to get children to enjoy this ageless pastime. “The key to making reading a daily habit is to make it enjoyable, and there are so many ways to do that during summer,” says Huntington. “Make it fun. Let your child choose the books. Make reading a fun family tradition. When you do things like this, you’ll start to see your child choosing to read over other activities, and his or her reading skills will improve greatly as well.”
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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