Friday, July 9, 2010

How To Get Your Kids To Embrace Summer Reading

When I was growing up, the schools did not really suggest summer reading.  But, reading has never been a problem for me.  I LOVE to read!  So much so, that I used to beg my parents to take me to the library all the time.  Of course, I didn't really have supportive parents, and they never did.  Still, I found other ways to enjoy summer reading.  My parents had a set of encyclopedias, and I would inevitably get bored enough during the summer that I would start on any given letter and start flipping through the book and reading what interested me.  Needless to say, now I know a bunch of useless facts..hehehe

When I was pregnant with my first son, who will be sixteen next week, I promised myself that I would listen to him and read to him as often as I could.  I started young, and by the time he was five, I couldn't get away with reading less than four books to him every night.  This was good, because he learned to read at an early age, by following along.  Back then, we did not have the Internet, and blogs and groups like Twitter Moms to give us ideas, and to support us. 

So, how do you get your kids to embrace summer reading even when there's so many more other things to do, especially video games.  The biggest thing is to make a game out of it.  You can do it during the hottest part of the day, when all the kids want to do is sit around anyway. (And here in TEXAS, that happens every year!)  You can challenge your child to read so many pages in a certain amount of time and of course being kids, they love challenges...which is why video games are so important. 

There are many, many programs that encourage summer reading now.  Harper Collins has one that I especially like for beginning readers called "I Can Read".  It has five different levels for every reader, and I found out about this wonderful set through this post from Twitter Moms.  This post wanted us to share with you, our readers, tips on how to get your child to read during the summer.

Another thing, is to reward them for what reading they do.  Say every five or ten pages equals a dime or some other reward that they look forward to.  Then at the end of the week or month, you can plan a special day, where you can take them out to eat and go to the store to buy something with the money they earn from reading.  Yes, this may sound like bribery...but soon it will get to the point where the books are more interesting and the reward is secondary. 

Last of all, make sure you spend time with your child while reading.  To send them to their room to read may feel like a punishment, and we certainly don't want that.  You can make it you and them time, or especially cuddle time.  How many kiddos would turn down special time with their parents during the day?  But, you should make sure that it is something that the child wants...if they don't exactly want to spend time with because they are daddy's little one, then encourage daddy to have that special time. 

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here