When it becomes a challenge to keep children reading over the summer once school is out, parents tend to forget one very important detail: that reading should be fun and not necessarily needs to be educational. Encouraging children to read when they’re on vacation has many advantages because it prevents the mythical and dreaded “brain drain” or at the very least, it will keep your kid from losing the fluency he or she had achieved during the school year. There are several studies that prove that children who read while on vacation, get better grades than those who did not read. Some experts even estimate two months of learning can be lost if kids do not read during their summer vacations or holidays.
If we want our children to enjoy reading, we need to stop it from becoming a chore and rather focus on the creative and fun side of books, magazines and even comics. Literacy is key to improving spelling and vocabulary skills, but it also helps stimulate your child’s imagination. Reading should not only be done as part of school or college demands. Take advantage of the summer break and recapture the magic of reading with these simple tips.
6 tips to keep your child reading during their summer vacation
- Keep in mind that reading over the summer should focus on being fun and not necessarily educational.
- Empower your child. Let them choose what to read. Whether it’s a magazine or a book, it is important to read something. It could be a sports magazine, Marvel comics, a Taylor Swift biography or a Frozen sing-along book.
- Before watching a movie based on a book, have older kids read the book. Later ask them to compare the book to the film.
- Make a log or chart to register how many pages they read every day. You can offer a small reward at the end of the week.
- Negotiate screen time. For example, for every 15 minutes of reading, you may allow 15 minutes of TV, video games or other electronic devices.
- Lead by example. It is important that children to see you reading. You can even schedule a set time during the day when everyone reads for 15 minutes.
Take advantage of free activities that many local libraries, bookstores and community centers offer. This way children feel that doing something educational or about books can also be a time for family fun.