As we get closer and closer to the end of the school year, I have seen many articles and posts popping up on Twitter about summer reading. As a teacher, I know the importance of children continuing their reading lives over the summer and how much backslide can occur if they don’t. There is an incredible amount of research that supports this. As a mom, though, I admit that I am feeling just as tired as the kids are right now. While my teacher brain gets it, my mom brain is saying: “Ugggghhhhhhh, can’t we all just have a break?”
The answer is: “Yes, of course, we can have a break!” But after a few days of no structure and maybe
definitely too much screen time, scheduling in some reading (and math!) fun should help bring a little routine into summer time.
Summer reading is actually pretty simple. Let kids pick what they want to read. Bring books and magazines in the car or plane on summer trips, on the beach, or just on the couch in the heat of the day when everyone needs some downtime.
There’s no magic formula about the number of books, or hours, kids should read over the summer, but every little bit helps. Reading independently for 15-30 minutes a day is plenty to keep kids on track. An extra 10 minutes of reading a novel together before bedtime is a great way to add some extra reading minutes, while spending some quality time together, too.
Dav Pilkey, the author of the Captain Underpants series and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot, encourages kids to get reading this summer:
To encourage your kids to read this summer, keep a list or a physical stack of books they want to read. Cross out or check off books as you go. Kids can even add a rating system (3 stars, for example) if they want to rate books after reading them.
I keep a stack of books that I plan to read on my night table. I rearrange and add books throughout the summer based on my mood and interests. I keep a list of books I’ve completed and get great satisfaction as the list gets longer!
Kids can also join Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge to log their reading minutes and get virtual rewards:
Public libraries have summer reading programs, too. Check out your local library for great books and reading incentives:
Cobb County Public Library Summer Reading program:
Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library:
For more summer reading ideas, check out the Reading Rockets Summer Reading Page: