Looking for ways to beat the heat this summer? Why not step into a cool book? Reading can boost your child's vocabulary, introduce new ideas, and help them use their imagination. Make regular trips to the public library or browse yard sales and thrift stores for deals on used children's books. Don’t forget neighborhood Little Libraries, they can be a fun way to share books.
Keep it light
Children benefit from reading not only prescribed books by their teacher, but self-selected titles as well. According to the Kids & Family Reading Report 2014, 91 percent of children ages 6-17, report their favorite books are those they choose themselves. Given the power of choice, children will often select silly and light-hearted fare such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants. Yet even playful titles like these will expand your student’s reading skills. The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak, is a hilarious read-aloud for grades K-3.
Say yes to non-fiction
Is your family embarking on a road trip this summer? Check out books about your destination and read them ahead of your departure. What is your child’s dream job? Help them research careers by finding books about their interests. Children are naturally curious, so non-fiction books lend themselves to inquisitive minds. Look for captivating non-fiction books on topics such as insects, animals, crafts, recipes, sports, historical events, poetry, and inventions. Check out Reading Rockets, for other cool reading suggestions.
Branch out to other materials
Many parents limit their child by only offering chapter books and novels. Selecting a wide range of reading genres and formats will not only engage an apathetic reader, but it can go a long way toward building lifelong reading skills. Children will read shorter and increasingly technical texts as they age, so why not start now? Encourage your child to read magazines such as Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights, or gaming magazines. Graphic novels and short story collections are popular among students and won’t overwhelm a struggling reader.
Keep track of your progress
Power up by tracking your child’s time spent reading at the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Parents can register their child for free and help their school set a world record for reading, with the top 20 schools featured in the upcoming Scholastic Book of World Records. Set a goal with your child and celebrate each week that he or she reaches it. Age-appropriate book lists, activities, and tips are available on the site. The challenge ends September 4. ~ Happy reading!