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Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Long summer days are custom-made for good books.

By FamilyTime

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Today, kids' schedules are so structured that summer often is one of the few times they can sit quietly and read. Yes, read! A book!

Most schools require students to read several books during the summer. Kids who like to read will devour far more titles. Those who don't may be inspired by the right books.

Why Encourage Kids to Read?
Ask anyone, from a child to a grandparent, the same question: "Which is better, the book or the movie?" The answer always is "the book!"

Why? Because when we read, our imaginations take flight. We conjure what characters look like, where they live and play, and how their voices sound.

For instance, New York Times children's book editor, Eden Ross Lipson, says of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, "Each [reader] had an intense personal vision, for example, of what a game if quidditch, that sky-high broomstick game…looked and sounded like." For many young readers, that vision will always surpass the movie vision.

Reading, while an exquisite form of entertainment, is also necessary for all learning. If children are raised with the idea that reading is a joy, they will read. If they are raised believing they can find information in books, they will look.

How to Choose Books for Kids
From the time they are toddlers, children derive great pleasure from sitting on laps and "reading" books. Adults have enormous influence on what children read.

When selecting books for a child, buy ones he or she can enjoy right away. Don't buy books the child needs to save until he is older.

Ask yourself a number of questions before selecting the book:

  • How old is the child?
  • Is the child a boy or a girl?
  • Where does she live?
  • What are his interests?
  • How many brothers and sisters does she have?
  • Is there something special going on in his life (a new baby? house? school?)
  • Is this a book to read aloud?
  • What books did you enjoy reading as a child?

    How to Encourage Reading
    Parents who read will naturally encourage their children to read. Talk about the books you liked as a child and listen when your kids talk about the books they like.

    Make time to read the books your child is reading. Discuss them in a relaxed way.

    Even if your kids are old enough to read to themselves, choose a book the whole family can enjoy and set aside 30 minutes before bedtime to read aloud. When the story gets good, the kids will egg you on to extend the allotted time!

    Finally, books on tape appropriate for all ages are a great way to get through long car trips. Not as satisfying perhaps as a good read, they nevertheless encourage reading. Suggest other books by the same author if your child has enjoyed the audio book.

    Summer is a time kids can explore their interests and try new things. Good books are ideal companions for both endeavors. They also are great company during a hot summer afternoon spent in a hammock, on a screened porch, or in a treehouse.

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