Most kids are required to complete a summer reading list before they return to school in the fall. Each student has a different list of books depending on their grade level. The reason students are encouraged to read over the summer is so that their brains can keep getting exercise during the summer months when they are out of school. Here are some ideas for how to motivate kids to keep up with their summer reading assignments and actually enjoy it!
1. Get out of the house for reading time
Make reading time fun by turning it into an outing. There are plenty of places you can go to read with your kids. You can bring a blanket to the park and read under the trees. Public libraries are great spots to read because they are a nice and quite environment that helps kids concentrate. High school students might enjoy reading on a University campus so they can get a feel for what college life is like. After your kids finish their allotted reading for that day then they can spend some free time on the outing as well. This activity will help kids associate reading with having fun.
2. Use incentives to motivate kids to finish their summer reading list
Some kids might need some incentives or rewards to help motivate them to read. You can create a set of guidelines for your children that might include small prizes for short-term goals. You can also have a bigger prize for when the reading list is completed. One incentive could be earning the same amount of minutes of TV time for the amount of time they spend reading. A final prize for finishing the reading list could be a trip to a theme park or a special activity that you and your child decide on together.
3. Set a good example by reading with your kids
One of the best ways to help your kids read is to set a positive example by reading with them. It is difficult for you to expect your kids to read for twenty minutes a day, when they never see you with a book. Rather than nagging your kids to read, you can pick up your own book and read along side them. This should help make reading more of a family activity than a dreaded school assignment. There are plenty of adult reading lists available for you to choose from as well.
4. Encourage thoughtful reading by using reading journals
One way to get your kids to enjoy the books they are reading is to prompt them to think about what they are reading. This can be done by talking about their book or writing down their thoughts in a summer reading journal. Your kids can make their own reading response journal that they write in every time they read a section of their book. This activity will help them remember what they’ve read and should keep them interested in the book.
5. Don’t stop once your kids are finished with their summer reading list
If your children have already read through all of the books on their summer reading list they don’t have to stop reading! Once the assigned books are completed then your kids can choose their own books to read. Knowing that eventually they can choose their own books can also be used as an incentive while your kids are reading the required books on the list.
Hopefully these tips will at the very least help your kids finish their required reading this summer. What would be even better is if your kids enjoyed reading and continued to read on their own accord. If you have any other ideas for how to motivate kids to read, please share them in the comments section.