Summer! The time for sleeping in late and watching hours upon hours of television. As a teacher, I cringe at the amount of time children sit idle over the summer. As a parent, I look for ways to help my child continue to grow their brain through the hot summer months. There are many things that parents and caregivers can do to help their children regain the progress over the summer and into the next school year.
- Enter in a summer reading program. Many public libraries have summer reading programs that reward students when they read a certain amount of books. Many times there is a goal and the rewards become larger as the number of books is increased. Barnes and Nobles has a summer reading program where students can earn a free book for reading 8 books. Find out more information here. Half Price Books also has a program to earn gift cards based on how many minutes the student reads. Check out the Feed Your Brain program here.
- Create a Reading Bank. Have your students keep track of their minutes they have read. As they bank a certain amount of reading time, they can withdrawal a certain amount for playing video games or watching TV. For instance, if the child reads for 30 minutes, they can withdraw those minutes for 15 minutes of TV. Download a “Bank Ledger” Reading Bank Another suggestion would be to have students read a certain amount of minutes to unlock privileges.
- Establish a routine for spending time at the library. Students in elementary school visit the school library once a week. Keep this routine going throughout the summer. Set aside time in the week for the family to turn in and check out books. Going on a vacation where there will be a long road trip? Include books in your packing! Most public libraries will allow you to check out books for 2 weeks. If you need more time, check with your librarian to see if you can renew the checkout online.
- Be an avid reader and model. Parents and caregivers can lead the way in making sure young brains continue to grow during the summer. Children will follow your lead. Instead of picking up your phone or turn on the TV, pick up a book and read. Your children will notice!
Literacy is important no matter what time of the year. What activities do you use with your children to keep them reading in the summer?