Series (Part 2 of 3): How To Keep Children Reading Over the Summer

This is the second in a three part series about a summer reading program for kids.  Part 1 explained how to “Create a Positive At-Home Reading Environment. Today we’ll explain how to:

Select the Right Books and Reading Material

Sometimes parents put too much thought into the selection of “good” books for their kids summer reading.  Reality is that children know what they’re interested in, and summer reading time provides the opportunity to let them explore those interests.  Offer a limited selection of books that may be recommended by the bookstore, library, or reading website (ours are at ), but allow the final decision to be made by your child.  This will make your child feel empowered, and ensure his willingness to read.

When you suggest books to your child, consider a variety of genres.  Depending on the age these could include picture books, chapter books, graphic novels or project and activity books. If you select something different than traditional reading material– like a recipe, project, or activity book – your child will be following instructions and possibly using some math skills too. The key is to make sure your child is interested in reading the book.

At times kids will choose books that are too challenging for independent reading.  A good strategy for determining whether the selection is appropriate is the Five Finger Rule.  Open the book to a random page and have your child begin reading.  Every time a word is missed, one finger goes up.  If all five fingers are up before the page is finished then a new book should be selected for independent reading.  However, be sure to include that book as a shared read.

Books that are interesting, challenging and fun will entertain your child over the summer and help prevent “brain drain”.

In our final installment we’ll discuss: Get Involved and Ask Questions.

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