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10 Ways to Keep Children Reading this Summer


The Summer Slide is a term educators use to refer to the loss of learning and tendency to forget grade-level material during time away from school. This year’s unexpected transition to distance learning means the period outside the classroom is unusually long. Keeping kids learning away from the traditional school setting is more important now than ever. 

Reading is one way to help kids discover the world around them without leaving home. Whether you’re discovering a new series together or encouraging independent reading, children of all ages benefit from books. 

Readaloud.org reports the positive correlation between being read aloud to in early childhood with graduating from college later in life. In fact, it’s the number one predictor of college attendance, according to child development experts. Currently, readaloud.org’s most recent survey data indicates that only 48 percent of children under the age of 5 are read aloud to each day. 

Find more information about the benefits of reading and additional tips at www.readaloud.org.  

Here are 10 ways to keep children reading over the next few months and beyond:

1. Find a book they love and that you do, too: No matter the age, reading is a great way to connect. Whether it’s with a toddler or a teen, you can find common ground with a shared story you both treasure. You can even text your older kids to start a virtual book club. 

2. Indulge their interests: Sometimes, children enjoy a genre totally different than what we would ever choose. Your child’s choices might surprise you but give him or her free reign to choose a new book and decide what to read next.

3. Don’t insist on “War and Peace:” Classics can be an excellent choice and fine literature will have its day with your child. In the meantime, make your peace with “Captain Underpants,” “Harry Potter,” and other reading fare on the lighter side of literature selections. 

4. Dedicate reading time each day:  Turn off screens and host a read-in for a set period of time each day, such as 30 minutes to peruse a book. Picture-walking, in which kids who may or may not be independent readers but just sit and turn pages to see illustrations, counts, too. Foster that time by dedicating it to just books, with reading aloud, reading quietly, or looking through stories.

5. Show them how you read:  Model the behavior you want them to engage in by letting kids see you read. Don’t save reading books or magazines for only after you’ve tucked little ones into bed. Talk about what you’re enjoying. 

6. Encourage a reading routine:  The world is chaotic right now. Reading can add consistency to a child’s life at home. Establish a predictable pattern of when kids can expect to read or be read to each day, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or before bedtime. 

7. Make reading about discovery:  If your child is aging out of storybooks and bored by fiction, go with non-fiction. Discover sharks, stars, oceans, cars, animals, and other cultures. 

8. Find out more about an author:  Authors now have websites and Instagram presences, social media read-alouds, and interactive follower videos that feature writing prompts, drawing classes, and more. Find your favorite author’s shared content to further your child’s vision of the world and the creators of the books they love.

9. Bring reading to life:  Follow a recipe, make a craft or otherwise teach life skills with directions from a book. Older kids can interpret instructions and see what happens or add to them on sticky notes to contribute details that would have been helpful. 

10. Join Kern County Library’s Summer Reading Challenge 2020:  Access free materials available online, have books sent to your home without charge, and more. Sign up for this summer’s reading program, log your reading, and earn incentives. Registration is already open. Find it all at www.kerncountylibrary.org/src for details! 

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Tags: Camp, Education, Featured Story, Parenting, Tweens & Teens

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