Parenting Tips

How To Encourage Summer Reading as a Parent

Summer reading is valuable for children from both an entertainment and educational standpoint. It keeps them engaged while helping to stop the summer learning slide. 

Parents can play a key role in encouraging their children to crack open a book this summer and dive in. Here are several fun and effective ways to encourage summer reading. 

Engage in Reading Together

Reading Rockets suggests that you read aloud to your child daily—and, since it’s summer, you could do this at a beach, park, or on the patio. Let your child read to you, too. Be a good role model by allowing your child to see you reading and by having plenty of reading material available. 

You could also read the same book as your child and then discuss what you thought about it. Ask questions and, if they ask you some, provide thoughtful answers. To engage your child even more, let them choose the book, and don’t discourage them if they pick popular fiction. The goal is to encourage reading and, if that’s what accomplishes the goal, it’s a worthwhile route.

Regularly Visit the Library

Check to see if your library sponsors a summer reading program. These programs can encourage children because they typically provide age-appropriate goals and often offer prizes when these goals are met. There are typically special reading-related events at the library in the summer—perhaps appearances by children’s book authors and recognizable mascots. 

If your child prefers to read independently (or wants to read beyond the parameters of the library’s reading program), ask your librarian for a list of suitable book recommendations.

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Connect Books With Summer Travel suggests that you read relevant books before going on a trip. For example, read a book about dinosaurs before heading off to a natural history museum (such as the Cleveland Museum of Natural History!) This helps to make the experiences more meaningful for your child. 

Celebrate When Your Child Finishes a Book

As notes, “Celebrations matter. Making a big deal of our accomplishments feels good.” This can be as simple as praising your child or it could include something bigger like making your child’s favorite dinner and then sharing why with everyone in the family. Or it could include taking a trip to the beach after your child finishes a book about making sand castles. Each child will appreciate different rewards, so think about what will motivate your child.

Explore Horizon Education Centers’ Summer Camp

When considering how to encourage summer reading, note that Horizon Education Centers’ summer camp includes a summer reading program as part of its curriculum. Our camp offers fun in the sun for children in kindergarten through the age of 12 with weekly themes and project-based learning to help to prevent summer learning loss. Begin your registration today!

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