Finding the Why to Summer Reading
May 16, 2013
Getting a child to read can be a really daunting task. I know from experience since I was one of those kids who didn’t really like to read. When I was younger, I’d rather twiddle my thumbs than read a book. Every summer my father stowed the TV away, so all I could do was twiddle my thumbs or read.
The thumbs thing isn’t exciting for very long. About twenty seconds and I was ready to read a book. Of course, I do remember being super little and having my mom read to me for the Summer Reading Program, and I loved that! But once it came time for me to read on my own, I had no interest.
This fact really caught my attention: between grades 1-6, kids can lose up to 1.5 years’ worth of literacy skills due to little reading during the summer. That’s a lot of time to lose, and a lot of skill to try to regain after the damage has already been done.
Today, if I could go back in time and talk to the little Cody, I’d give him some books on outer space, sci-fi tales, or even books that were based off of TV shows I watched at the time—like Magic School Bus or Scooby Doo. If you find yourself having trouble getting your kid to read this summer, you may want to pay attention to the shows they watch or the things they’re really interested in.
That’s what summer is all about—doing the things that kids want to do, and that includes reading what they want to read not what they have to read. If your kid likes bugs, maybe a bug book from the nonfiction section would be a great place to start, or even a tale that features bugs as the main characters.
Maybe books are too heavy to hold, try a magazine! We’ve got plenty of fun subscriptions like Danger Rick, National Geographic for Kids, Discovery Girl, Boys Life, and many more!
If there is an eReader in the family, you could also try checking out eBooks for your child this summer, too. Don’t have time to stop by the Library this summer and don’t have anything around the house to read? Use TrueFlix or the TumbleBook Library for reading awesomely entertaining books online.
So, long as kids are reading, they’ll continue to cultivate the literacy skills they developed the previous year in school; this means they’ll be able to start the school year strong and continue building on those skills rather than having to review for the first few weeks of the year.