One of the key determiners of our children’s success as readers is the amount of time they actually spend reading. Like any skill, reading is a practice, and the more we practice, the stronger our reading muscles will grow. Here are 5 tips to help your child become a frequent reader.
1. Take a field trip.
One of the best resources we have at our disposal during the summer is time. Use your child’s out of school time to visit new and exciting places to pick out books. Try a fun museum, an independent bookstore, or go on a scavenger hunt in the library. Choose books that you can read together and that your child can read on her own.
2. Set a goal.
Goals motivate all of us - children and adult alike! Just as we set goals in our every day lives, we can set family reading goals as well. Decide on a reasonable target of reading minutes that you can accomplish together as a family in two to three weeks. Make a chart to track your progress, and plan a celebration that everyone can "read towards" and anticipate when you hit your reading target.
3. Start your own book club.
Book clubs are a great way to create community around reading and to spend time together discussing what we are enjoying in our reading lives. Start a summer book club in your family or community, and have each member contribute to the reading list. Meet every week or bi-weekly (and over e-mail or video chat in the interim) for snacks and fun conversations.
4. Dive into non-fiction.
Summer is a time to be fun and adventurous in our reading lives. Use your child's interests and natural curiosity to find informational books to learn more about these topics, and make the readings interactive. Try conducting science experiments around what you have read, or visiting the historical locations that are the real settings of favorite new stories.
5. Read aloud every day.
Don't forget the importance of reading together, and routine. Make your read alouds fun and interactive with exciting voices, and ask your child questions about the text. Make the reading suspenseful by reading one story over the course of a few days (or nights)!