Saturday, June 4, 2011

Getting Kids into Books

Summertime . . . 
        and the reading is easy.

As far as I’m concerned, summer was made for pleasure reading. When your child sees you reading because you enjoy it, that sends a powerful message. Here are some ideas for summer reading, family style.

Each family member sets a reading goal. Mom and Dad are included! Make sure the goals are attainable, but also require a bit of effort. Your family can plan a fun activity—a trip to the ice cream parlor, a backyard campout, an amusement park outing-- as a reward for everyone reaching their goal.

Have a reading party. At my house, this involves three stages. First, we create the atmosphere. We pile pillows, cushions, and blankets in the family room and build a reading "fort." Next, we gather reading materials of all sorts—books, comic books, and magazines. The third necessary element is snacks. Now let the reading begin! We usually read silently for 20 minutes, then take turns reading aloud for a while. We'll usually read for a total of 60 to 90 minutes. Good summer fun!

Give your child a flashlight and let him read in bed. Take advantage of relaxed summer bedtimes by allowing more reading time. Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, suggests saying something like this to your child: “You can stay up and read if you want. If you don’t want to read, that’s okay too. We’ll just turn out the light at the usual time.” What a great reading tradition.

What summer traditions nurtured your love of reading?

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