16 Jul, 2020 How to Get Your Kids to Read More This Summer
by Dr. Kathryn Knight
Reading is key to all learning and summer is a great time to add more reading to your day. This summer make your own Summer Reading Club for your whole family. You can set goals and award prizes tailored to your family. Make the goals flexible based on your kids’ reading abilities. For my early readers, I give them a chart where they color in a box for every fifteen minutes spent in a book – either reading or listening to someone read a book. My older kids keep track of the books they finish. When they reach a goal, they get a reward, usually a $5 gift card to Half Price Books or Chick-fil-A.
Reading aloud is a great way to spend a few hours together. Kids retain and remember the information at a much higher level than their grade level when they listen to you read, so go ahead and read long chapter books to everyone, even the youngest. When reading aloud, let kids fidget. Kids hear better and tune out less when they are using their hands while listening. Over the years, we have braided a rag rug, crocheted, sketched, sorted laundry, even weeded the garden as we enjoyed a read aloud. As long as no one wanders off or disturbs others, almost any quiet activity is perfect while listening.
Choose quality literature so your kids learn excellent syntax, structure, and content.
Warning: Just because a book is said to be a classic does not mean it is G-rated or kid-friendly.
Watch out! Children’s books and young adult books often include witchcraft, homosexuality, and false religion as a theme. It surprises me that so many Christians have condoned witchcraft through the Harry Potter series. This series is just one example of how ungodly ideas are being fed to our kids. You are the parent, and you need to choose wisely what your kids read. I believe that we can find good literature that does not embrace these ungodly views.
Some resources to find great literature are:
- Counter Culture Mom Summer Reading List.
- Laura Bush’s Read-Aloud Favorites. https://www.bushcenter.org/publications/articles/2018/05/mrs-laura-bushs-reccomended-summer-reading-list.html
- Jim Trelease Reading List. http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/erinlist2.html
- Other homeschool moms. Ask them what books their family enjoys.
Many libraries and businesses offer summer reading programs with prizes for reading. Check out these online reading club options:
- Half Price Books reading club is for the entire family.
- Pizza Hut Book It. Usually a school-year program, they are offering a summer option now.
- Search online for summer reading programs. You will find many offered. Choose a few and let your kids enjoy being rewarded for reading.
This summer, turn off the TV, stop the video games and read. A lot. To your kids and with your kids. Listen to them read (I know, it is painfully slow at times). Set a minimum reading goal for each day. After lunch is often a good time to set aside for an hour of reading.
Teaching your kids to learn to read and to love to read are different aspects of education. Use a family Summer Reading Club to help kids develop a love for reading. Many people in our video-saturated world have let images and online books take the place of paper books. Just like you would not always serve peanut butter sandwiches because they are easier to fix than cooking a “real meal”, don’t let videos and online sources become the staple in your home. Give your kids a “real meal” all summer by requiring reading every day.
Dr. Kathryn Knight is a 20+ year homeschool veteran who has graduated three of her five children.
Kathryn loves to find creative ways to make learning hands-on so brain synapses connect and her kids enjoy school and remember what they’ve learned.