Summer is my favorite season. It’s the time of year where we can give ourselves permission to slow down. The hot days dictate we sit by the lake, or pool, or ocean and wait for a cool breeze with a tall glass of iced tea in our hands. Summer is the time to let worries fly away with the lightning bugs. It’s town fairs and cotton candy. It’s Italian ice and fireworks.
Summer is also the time for reading! I love taking my kids to the bookstore and piling promising books full of adventure into our arms. It’s a great opportunity for them to discover the types of stories they like to read instead of books they are required to read. When a child finds an author or a genre they like you will make a reader out of them.
But how do we make readers out of our kids? The first thing we must do is be readers ourselves. It doesn’t matter what you read. Books, magazines, the newspaper or any and all of these things on your tablet. Show them what you’re reading. Talk to them about it too.
Help them choose books. What kinds of interests do they have outside of reading? A child who likes puzzles or figuring things out might like mysteries. If you can’t recommend an author or book in the genre ask the librarian or the person at the bookstore for help. Or, grab the book with the cover you like. Yes, I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but the publishing world understands that that is exactly what happens so book covers are designed to grab your attention. But then, flip it over and read the back. If you like the premise, open the book and read the first several pages. If the author hooks you right away, you’ll most likely enjoy the rest of the book. And when you find an author you like, read all their stuff.
If your child likes non-fiction, encourage that. Or if they want to read comic books, that’s good too. Reading is reading and when you find something you love you’ll go back to it again and again.
Challenge them. Create a contest to see if they can read more books than you by the end of the summer. The prize can be whatever you choose, but if you’re kids are competitive or really want something, this would be a great motivator. Libraries usually hold similar events during the summer, but teens may not want to participate in something so public. If it’s going on at home, they won’t have to admit it to anyone else. wink wink.
The school year is wrapping up and I can’t wait to see what books the Noodges will read.
What books will you be reading this summer?