Best Summer Reading Ideas for Kids: They either read this summer, or clean my bathroom.
I’ve had this entry brewing in the queue for a while. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it until now because the thought of summer vacation gives me hives. I don’t really hate summer vacation, It’s fine for the first 3 weeks or so, it’s just the last 6 which send me careening into insanity. More than usual. But it’s time to think about summer reading programs so I’ll just pretend summer is still weeks away, not the actual 8 days away it is.
According to experts, kids who don’t read over the summer can lose up to two months or 22% of instructional time over the summer if they don’t keep reading. Teachers also say it’s common to spend the first month of the school year reteaching material children already learned late in the year before. Reading Is Fundamental has great information and ideas to help encourage your children to read over the summer. Even better send your kids over to read these tips directed at them.
Scholastic Books and Target have kicked off a new program this year called the Summer Reading Buzz. At the Scholastic site kids can track the books they read, get book recommendations and discussion questions and share their thoughts with other kids. The site is wonderfully motivating for kids and as a bonus, for every four books your child logs in, Scholastic will donate a book to ‘Reading Is Fundamental’ to go to a child who may not otherwise be able to afford books of their own.
Barnes and Noble is offering their popular summer reading program again this summer. Last year they gave out 291,000 free books and participants read a combined 2.3 million books. Pick up a reading log at any Barnes and Noble store or print your own at the site. After your child has read any 8 books and written about their favorite part, bring the sheet into the store and your child can choose a paperback book from a large list of titles. Be sure to check out your local store’s storytimes while you’re there as well.
Libraries are another excellent resource for summer reading. Almost all libraries offer a summer reading program and additional summer storytimes and activities. I have been known to burn an hour of daylight (or five) at the library with my kids. Free wireless, books, computers what’s not to love. This year our library is running a book club for mothers and daughters 8-12 years old along with their regular summer reading program. New York State is running a statewide summer reading program (a collaborative effort with several states) with a great website here. The artwork for New York’s program is by Mark Teague, author of our family favorite, “Dear Ms. LaRue”.
I’m not so much concerned about the so-called “Summer Slide” in regards to reading. I am however concerned about the “Summer Sanity Slide.” Maybe reading will help.