Summer is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to it, and I know my boys are too. They are counting down the days when school will be out. Our days will be filled with fun, baseball, and visits from family. There will probably be late nights and movies also.
But through it all, we need to find time to read. Studies have shown that kids who don’t read over the summer will see their skills stagnate or decline. That’s scary. It means they’ll have to work that much harder when the school year starts to get back to where they ended the previous year. But there’s an easy remedy: reading.
During the school year, kids’ days are filled with required readings; stories and books that are more often than not assigned to them so they can learn some lesson. But in the summer, that’s when freedom prevails. That’s when they get to read what they want. It’s a very exciting time.
I’ve never been one to abide by age or grade recommendations when it comes to reading. If my boys think a book looks interesting and fun, I’ll let them get it—even if the vocabulary is outside of their range. After all, that’s how kids discover new words. If they have a question about the content, I’m right there to answer it for them. That’s how they learn. That’s how they expand their horizons.
I’ve never been afraid of my kids reading graphic novels and comic books. There are benefits to reading graphic novels and comic books, including fostering a love of reading and enjoying new stories or classic stories. The same can be said about audiobooks. There are a variety of benefits for kids listening to audiobooks, and I feel I should encourage this more in my household.
Getting your hands on books over the summer is as easy as heading to the library. I get it: books can be expensive. But libraries offer a plethora of books at no cost. And my boys love going to the library and picking out which books they want to read. You can even find audiobooks there.
Reading should be an activity that your kids want to do, not something they have to do. Fostering a love of reading in kids can be accomplished by letting them pick which books they want to read. You can force them to sit down for a certain amount of time each day, or you can find a time (say, right before bed) to enjoy a story as a family. That’s what we do in our house. This helps my kids keep their reading skills top notch, let’s us spend some time together, and helps them unwind after a fun-filled day. It helps me too!