Reading Tips For Parents & Educators
Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!
Summertime provides a wonderful opportunity to foster a love of reading with your children. No one’s worried about homework, strict schedules, or report cards. The days are longer, and books can be read with the simple task of enjoying a good story. When school is out and responsibilities are low, take advantage by scoping out books based on your youngster’s hobbies and interests. Here are a few summer reading tips for parents to help school-age children fall in love with reading:
Mix it up.
Aim to strike a balance between discovering new stories and relaxing with some cherished favorites. “Summer is a great time to take some risks and try new books. But never underestimate the power of a good re-read,” says children’s librarian, Laura Lintz, of the Henrietta Public Library in New York. “Emerging readers can gain a lot from revisiting their favorite picture books, beginning readers, and early chapter books. As they gain more reading proficiency, their understanding of these stories may deepen and provide them with feelings of mastery, success, and independence, too!”
Have a book-themed day.
When your child connects with a story, consider modeling a day or activity after what you’ve read. Hit the beach for a sand-filled adventure after reading “Ty’s Travels: Beach Day!” or plan a day at the aquarium after reading “Little Critter: Going to the Sea Park”. For a more high-brow afternoon, follow up a Fancy Nancy story with high tea. You could even play make believe and let your child pretend to be Biscuit for the day, though we recommend placing a limit on the “Woofs!”
Make reading a delight.
Learning to read is hard work, but it’s relatively easy to turn reading into a reward. We so often let children stay up late for movie nights or family time, so why not add reading to the mix? Allow for an extra 10 to 20 minutes of read-aloud time before bed. Or, let them choose a story to thumb through on their own after their usual “lights out” time. Placing reading into the “treat” category will help them see the practice in a new light. By empowering them read on their own time, they’ll gain confidence and experience a sense of accomplishment.
Talk about books.
Don’t hesitate to pause when you read to your child to discuss an element of the story and ask them how they feel about it. Challenge them to guess what might happen next, or imagine how the characters might be feeling. If you are a reader, tell them something interesting that happened in a book or article you recently read. Hint: Most adult stories have at least one theme to which kids can relate! Hearing about it will help spark their curiosity, and they’ll feel like they’re getting a sneak peek into your life.
Most importantly, summer should be low-pressure. Read lots of books that they are excited about, let them see you reading, and most importantly, enjoy the break. For more summer reading tips for parents, check out this post, 10 Tips to Avoid the Summer Reading Slide.