Read?… in the summer? A collective sigh rolls through the classroom like a wave breaking onto the shore.
Summer is screaming its way in. Teachers are scrambling to keep their students on task and engaged and parents are furtively thinking and searching for ways to pick up that baton to continue the uphill race to keep their kids entertained and engaged as well. The task can be downright daunting. Speaking from experience of course.
Getting kids to read is a challenge in and of itself. Getting your kids to read during what they consider their time, well you have stepped into hostile territory. Throughout the school year teachers and parents make great efforts to introduce, maintain, and develop a love for reading in their children. As a student, I happened to have that mom that loved to read and travel. Oh, the stories! Among my favorites, Greek mythology. Then as a teenager I went through a serious phase of reading romantic novels. Can we say addiction? Addiction doesn’t sound healthy, right? So, let’s say… a healthy addiction to reading romantic novels. Fast forward to my adult years and I can practically live in a Barnes and Nobles.
So as a teacher I sought to instill this love of reading in my students and my own children. I truly disliked reading logs because I realized that my students were not reading, parents were not signing, or were signing and students were ‘pretend’ reading, so I implemented different concrete ways to track my students’ reading. Here are 5 creative ways to get your kids reading this summer.
Reading Book Clubs
If you are a literary lover like myself, I am sure you enjoyed when Oprah started her book club. Well this concept is similar: The Kids Reading Book Club. Start a kids book club with the neighborhood kids or your children’s’ classroom friends, or your friends’ children. Of course, try to group the children by levels. But here’s the splendid part, when the book club meets how about arranging it in a park, under a tree, or meet in a tree house? Set up a tent in someone’s backyard or throw a picnic. Who doesn’t love reading and food (finger foods!).
Summer Reading Listening Program
During the school year, I try to get my most reluctant readers to listen to the books their reading while they follow along, great motivator. This can be done at home as well. Libraries have hundreds of books on CD’s ( I do this as well. It brightens my otherwise mind-numbing commute to work). There are audio books available as well that can be downloaded. Here’s a way to take this listening gig to the next level and make it even more kid-friendly; have your children record a book and share it with their book club members.
Read and Travel
Well, if it’s in the budget why not? But I meant have your children read about places around the world. Time for Kids and Newsela are two great sites that have articles about different places around the world and current events. Bonus: Nonfiction reading. Which brings me to my next amazing, creative tip!
Not traveling this summer? That’s ok, your children can still use their passports. Create a reading passport, get a free fold-able here and when your child reads a book this summer have them identify the location, the setting. By the way they should have heard of the ‘setting of the story’ it’s one of the story elements. Have them draw a picture of the setting, label the city, state, and/or country like a real stamp from the airport! Remember reading can take you places.
Every child I know loves a good competition. Hey, it’s healthy, gets the adrenaline pumping. Which in turn makes the brain turn on like switch! Ok so I’m not a neuroscientist, but I do know well set-up challenges in my classroom and at home has been entertaining, engaging and most of all rewarding. It has been so much fun to hear and see the excitement in my students. Now there are several ways you could implement this at home. Pinterest has some interesting reading challenges or you could pick up a free printable here.
There are many more ways to get your kids to read for the summer and continue this energy throughout the following school year. This summer I’m actually going to try the travel and read. I love to read but my last daughter doesn’t. So, I am willing to try anything to get her to enjoy reading as much as I do. Wish me luck 🙂
Have you got some amazing reading strategies you would like to share? I would love to hear about them.
Happy teaching and learning!