Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting Kids To Embrace Summer Reading

If you have ever been to my house you know that we love books. We have almost every wall in our house lined with bookshelves and those shelves are covered in books. I try to read every chance I get. I love the learning that comes from opening a great book! Reading can be a great way to go to a new place that you've never been or to gain a new skill.

There was a time; however, when my oldest boy didn't like to read. He struggled with it and gave up on it several times. He, like so many other children that don't like to read, had a learning disability. He was slightly dyslexic and tested positive for ADD. I took him out of the public school setting after he finished kindergarten and decided I would homeschool. The one on one attention really helped him and we started a program called All About Spelling that helped him with learning the spelling rules for words so that he could read them easier. Some of which I was learning right along with him because I was really only taught phonetic spelling and reading of words when I was growing up. Anyway, he also started to love books because not only was he learning things from them, but he was learning how to read better and faster. His favorite books were from the I Can Read! series. They have books that are on 5 different levels...from shared reading to advanced.

Tips To Get Your Kids To Embrace Summer Reading:

1. Have books that your child will enjoy reading: If your child has a particular interest in something let them read about it. I got my boys a Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and they poured through that book taking in everything because dinosaurs were something they had a big interest in at that time.

2. Make reading important to you: Have plenty of reading materials in your home, read often and become a good role model for your kids.

3. Sign up for your local library's Summer Reading Program: If your library participates in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) they will undoubtedly have fun materials that will help kids want to read during the summer. Some libraries who don't participate in this particular program have their own program for summer. My kids received all kinds of goodies for signing up including bookmarks, reading lists according to age, a library book bag to carry books home they check out, and a sheet they can fill out that shows which books and how many books they read during the summer to receive another prize at the end. Also, a lot of libraries have other activities that go on there throughout the summer, so make sure you get a schedule of those.

4. Sign up for your local or online book store's Summer Reading Program: Besides the library some book stores also participate in summer reading programs. Here is a list of ones I know about: Barnes & Noble, Borders, Half Price Books, and Scholastic.

5. BOOK IT!: I remember doing this national reading incentive program when I was young in public school and now I do the homeschool version and get free Pizza Hut pizza for my homeschooled kids during the school year. If you homeschool or are a teacher at a public or private school the 2010-11 enrollment deadline is June hurry and you will get FREE BOOK IT! materials for the 2010-11 BOOK IT! Program for grades K-6. They also have a Summer Break with BOOK IT! Program where you can read to win prizes.

6. Summer Home Learning Recipes: Go to the America Reads Summer Reading Program website and click on the Recipes for Summer Fun link. These are great ideas for keeping learning...including reading strong during the summer.

7. Travel and read: Read books about where you are going to be traveling. Have your child read the brochures, pamphlets, etc. about where you are going. Travel with kids books and have them read in the car (be careful if your little one gets motion sickness) or at the destination. You can also listen to audio books while traveling.

8. Read to your kids: Younger kids love to be read to and even older kids sometimes love a break from reading themselves. Read to them not just at bedtime. Make chores fun by reading to them while they are working.

9. Make reading fun with food: Use ABC cookie cutters and make finger sandwiches, pancakes, or cookies to spell a word and have them read it. Alphabet soup, Alpha-Bits cereal, and ABC Pretzels are great to use to spell words and read them.

10. Get a subscription to a magazine for kids with topics in it that interest them: They will look forward to reading it every time a issue comes in the mail. HERE is a list of good ones to try.

11. Create a book club for your kids and their friends: Having their friends over to discuss a chapter in a book that they are all reading would be a great way to get your child to read during the summer.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

I Can Read! BooksBecome an I Can Read! Member

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