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6 Tips to Encourage Reading Over the Summer

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With summer comes a change in routine from your regular school year. How can you encourage more reading in your household during this special time? What will help change things up a bit to get everyone on board? We’ve got SIX tips to help you meet those “Read More” goals.


Spend time at the library, letting the kids explore different genres of books not necessarily typical to your school regime. Subscribe to your library’s emails of upcoming events. Many libraries have visiting authors or Read Aloud time with a local storyteller. Sometimes an air conditioned place to relax is just what you’re all needing, and the library is a free place to do just that.


When I first found out that good readers spend at least 30 minutes each day reading, we instituted FOBAR Time (“Flat on Your Bunk and Reading”) in our house, and the reading abilities of my two boys skyrocketed that summer. Plan when you’re going to have FOBAR or Read Aloud time before the kids are wiped out. Put it on the calendar, make it a routine, and hold yourselves to it.


There are lots of opportunities to spend time with a book. Waiting for a doctor’s appointment? Enjoying the sun on the beach? Spend a half hour reading a new book. Talking to your kids about what you’re reading let’s them know that reading is important to you. Children learn more by what they see you do than by what you say. Scary, isn’t it?


Are you going to the zoo or to an aquarium? Get books about those topics for the kids to peruse before and after your outing. Listen for the things that excite them when you’re at your destination, and then grab some books about those topics.


Is Mom the one that regularly reads to the kiddos? Have Dad read to them before bed. In our early years of homeschooling, my husband read each evening to the kids. They have vivid memories of dad reading different stories in all his fun accents. This creates a wonderful family time over a book, and it helps build your children’s attention spans, memories, auditory skills, and more.


When I was a camp counselor, I read from the book Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains before my campers settled in for each night. It was a great way to calm the girls down, and it was common for some of them to even fall asleep before the chapter was finished. They’d beg me the next morning to tell them what had happened if they’d missed part of the story. It was common when they got home for them to ask their parents to get the book so they could finish reading it for themselves.

Select an action, adventure book that builds suspense so that the kids look forward to finding out each day what happens next. The book The Eighth Dimension: A Symurell Rises is one of those books. Here’s what one dad had to say about it: “I read this book to my daughters. We looked forward each evening to the next chapter. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.”

What are the ways you’re trying to get more reading into your summer? We’d love to hear from you.

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