Does your child need encouragement to add a book or two to their summer activity mash-up? Read on for motivational strategies from Pernille Ripp, distinguished teacher, reading advocate, author, and speaker:
Make a plan
Fuel enthusiasm for reading together. Create a list of to-read books for the summer. View the MCFL website Kids page, browse the booklists available in the library catalog (sampling here), or visit your local children’s librarian who is just waiting for you to ask for recommendations!
Fill your home with books
Have reading on the ready, with books in every nook and on every open shelf. Place the hot new title with a cover that begs “read me” on a table. Just maybe, in a moment of boredom that book gets opened!
Make it social
Reading doesn’t have to be an independent activity. How about a book picnic or “books & gelato” every Friday night over the summer break? Share books with friends, organize a book swap, or pair up with a reading partner.
Summer likely includes travel. Audiobooks can bust the boredom, keep the peace, and offer pleasurable edutainment when staying buckled up is essential. Don’t have a device with you? Stream audiobooks from the Hoopla collection or Overdrive from the Libby app. Or use portable and handy Playaways to provide instant stories with the mere addition of earbuds or headphones (no internet or download required).
Create a reading routine
Initiate a relaxing drop-everything-and-read time, whether it’s after lunch, before bedtime, or anytime that works with your family schedule. Include adults as well: children will read more by themselves when they see their parents/caregivers reading on a regular basis. A reading lifestyle evolves from reading as a natural part of the day. Continue family storytimes even after kids are reading independently. The shared experience is priceless!
Offer freedom of choice
The most important thing parents can do for their kid’s reading development is to nurture the joy of reading. Make this vacation a summer filled with guilt-free reading. If your child wants to read super easy books, great! If he or she is fixated on comics, great! If your child wants to only read a particular type of book, great! Celebrate reading every day.
Discuss what your child is reading as well as volunteer your own reading experiences. Ask genuine questions that encourage conversation. An abandoned book can be a wonderful opportunity for discovery: the more information your child learns about what stories appeal or do not appeal help to support future reading selections, and determine the type of reader they are and want to be. Keep discussions casual, but continue even if you receive minimal feedback after a book is finished. The next may elicit a flood of commentary.
Above all, keep it light and keep it fun. Give your child the pleasure of reading experience and skip constraints that can make reading feel like a chore.
Come join the fun with the MCFL
for kids and teens beginning Saturday, June 9!
Source: Ripp, Pernille. (2017, May 4). Creating Joyful Summer Reading Plans. Nerdy Book Club [blog post]