The Summer Slump is real. During those three months when kids aren’t at school, their academic skills endure a regression. At the beginning of the school year, it can take a minute for them to refresh and catch back up.
If you want to make things easier for your child, one great way to do that is through reading. If you’re having trouble convincing your child to hit the books during these sun-filled months, here are some ways to encourage the habit.
Pick Books Based Around Their Interests
Is your kid super into dinosaurs? Obsessed with Star Wars? Crazy about fashion?
The beautiful thing about books is that there’s one written on virtually every subject. Let your child read about what they’re interested in, and they won’t even notice they’re working at maintaining their language arts skills over the summer.
One good place to find interest-based books is Jet.com. Plus, the more you buy from them in a single purchase, the lower the prices get.
Make It All About Them
A surefire way to make a kid like a book? Make it all about them. Literally.
My FairyTale Books inserts your child into the story. Whether it’s their name or their image, you can feature your kid in stories where they save the world, are given their name for the first time, are featured as a race car driver, or even stories where they get to have adventures alongside Frozen characters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Make It Rewarding
It’s not a bribe. It’s an incentive.
You can implement something at home with a sticker chart for each book your child reads. Once they get so many stickers, they get a reward. This is similar to the Book It! Program that they may use during the school year.
Another way to do this is to check out the Summer Reading program at your local library. Many will give your kid a free book after they’ve read so many. For example, maybe they read five books, and then they get to pick a free one from the library’s stash.
Often these programs will also give you entries for prizes, too. These are sometimes as simple as toys and sometimes as amazing as tickets to the zoo or a children’s theater performance. These programs are typically run in the fashion of raffles.
Libraries also tend to set goals for the entire community. Maybe they want everyone to collectively log 2,000 books for the summer. Your child may only read 15, but helping the group get to that number will make them feel like a part of something bigger and encourage them to read more.
Library programs typically have parties or events surrounding their summer reading programs, too. There might be one at the beginning of summer, and then one at the end of summer. Getting to go hang out with other kids, eat snacks and play is a fun added bonus and motivation to participating in these programs.
And, of course, using your library to keep your kid reading over the summer also helps keep your costs down. While we’re big fans of the personalized book, ordering more than one per child can get cost prohibitive. But if you use your library, you’ll have access to thousands of books for the low cost of $0.