June 6, 2019
“Mom, when is twenty minutes up?” This was the question I remember hearing most from my two elementary-aged sons during the summer months. Daily reading was part of their summer schedule, but I must admit ... it was not always their favorite time of day. They couldn’t wait to ride their bikes or play with their neighborhood buddies at the school down the street. The idea of reading for fun and enjoyment would not click in for them until after their elementary school years.
As we approach the summer months, I encourage you to set aside time each day for your child to sit with a book — even it’s not what they’d prefer to do with their free time. Reading is the foundation of success in school ... and in life.
As parents, we can offer encouragement and support, and we can model the enjoyment of reading to help our children become better readers. Research shows that children who spend time every day reading books, magazines, or newspapers are more likely to become strong readers. Research also points to the fact that reading aloud to your child is a gift that you can give your child to encourage reading success.
Below I’ve listed some additional ways that parents can promote reading fun.
- Set aside time to visit the local public library. Larkspur Library and Marin County Library at Corte Madera have summer reading programs created for young students during summer time.
- Take time for “experiences” such as a trip to the zoo or the coast. Read about things you might see or do on your adventures before or after your visit.
- Encourage reading in fun places – under a tree, under a makeshift tent in the backyard, on the hammock...
- Cook together and follow directions in the recipes
- Try a newspaper or magazine scavenger hunt (find the temperature of your town, the local movie schedule, sports scores, etc.)
- Identify quality websites and allow your child to research some favorite topics (dinosaurs, tide pools, dogs)
- Encourage letter writing to relatives or friends and have your child ask that they write back.
Helping your child discover the joy of reading is more important than almost anything else you can do to help your child succeed in school.
I wish you and your family happy reading over the next few months!