Friday, June 09, 2006

Develop a Summer Reading Routine

286796_reading_a_storySummer is often a time when we let things slide and neglect maintaining any sort of schedule. But this year, try to establish a summer reading routine. It will help maintain the reading growth your children have made throughout the year. Here are a few ways to make reading part of your children's summer:

Commit to setting aside fifteen minutes each evening to reading. Turn the television off and have the whole family sit down and read. Even if it's reading a newspaper, you’re sending the message that reading is an important skill to develop. This is also a good time to read aloud to small children who are learning to read themselves.

Visit the library periodically. Help your children select books to read or want read aloud to them. This is also an excellent opportunity to teach your children how the library is organized. If your children are older, teach them how to use the computerized card catalogue as well. If you need help, ask the librarian.

From time to time, take excursions to the bookstore. Help your children choose books from the vast selection in the “great summer reads” displays. While you're there, set a good example and pick up a book for yourself.

Take an interest in the books your children are reading. Ask questions such as: why did you choose that book, what do you like best so far, where does it take place, who are the main characters, what's the problem in the story, will you read more stories by this author?

There's nothing more boring for kids than long road trips. Make sure you pack books. If your children are small, read aloud to them in the car on the way to your summer vacation spot. If you have older children, have them read to the younger ones. Everyone needs to pack a book, including Mom and Dad.

Summer is often hectic with summer camps, sports and family vacations. But you can still establish a daily reading time, and it will be well worth it. Chances are, with daily reading, your children won't just maintain their current reading levels, they will improve their overall reading proficiency. And won't that be a terrific way to start the school year next fall?

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