The ad goes like this: The effects of reading can vary among children. Newfound CURIOSITY, a sense of DISCOVERY and a big IMAGINATION are all possible side effects. Adult supervision not required.
What a simple way to say that reading is one awesome way to open a child's mind, to inspire interest and to promote wonder. Even though it's summer please don't be afraid to put a book (or a kindle) in front of your child. You pick a few books - then let them pick a few. It's a sure way to experience a win-win with your child this summer!
Over the summer months kids naturally lose some of the information that they earned over their previous 9 months of school. And this gap will only widen if they are not encouraged to pick up a book, a pencil and maybe even a few worksheets over the summer months. Help your child to expand their knowledge, not widen their summer amnesia.
Unfortunately, convincing your kids that reading really is important can be challenging. So take advantage of the free help that is available for parents. Most public libraries offer free summer reading programs which offer lists of suggested books by grade level. Even if you are working full time, find a Saturday morning, twice a month, to have your librarian help you and your kids to select some fun books. Before even entering the library, talk with your kids about their interests. Do they want to know more about the moon, pets, dinosaurs, fairy tales? This simple information will empower your librarian to point out just the right books to engage young readers.
The American Library Association tells us that the benefits of summer reading include:
Encouragement that reading become a lifelong habit
Reluctant readers can be drawn in by the activities
Reading over the summer helps children keep their skills up
The program can generate interest in the library and books
And it being summer, the program can just be good fun and provide an opportunity for family time.
If you are in the Los Angeles area, Paws To Read is the Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Club. Check it out! Not near L.A.? No worry. Go to your nearest public library and ask about their program.
Another great, free summer reading program is the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. This program challenges kids to increase their reading minutes while recommending books, offering