As an educator, and a mom, I can’t stress enough how important reading is. During the summer months, my family signs up for our local reading program, which also includes free activities. Studies have shown that when kids have the summer’s off, they easily forget many things they have learned throughout the year. Even just having 10-20 minutes of reading time a day can increase your child’s comprehension. Yes, it is important that your child can read fluently with little to no errors. Even more important, though, is reading comprehension.
For most of us, summer time means getting off of our normally hectic and “scheduled” days. No more homework, prepping lunches, school projects that are due, or after school activities. There is just something about summer time where the rules and procedures go out the window. One thing we have stuck to is summer reading! There is just something wonderful about being in the cool air conditioned house (while it’s blazing hot outside) and lounging on the couch with a book.
Here are a few things you can do to increase your child’s interest in reading:
- Take time to read together, even if you are the one reading to your child
- Show your child(ren) it is important to read by doing so yourself
- Set aside 20 minutes for everyone to each quietly read to themselves
- If your child is reading a chapter book, read the book with your child, and then discuss it together
- Create a book club with several friends
- Visit the library once a week and let your child(ren) choose their own books
Luckily for all of us in the east valley, there are tons of summer reading programs that will keep the kids (and you) wanting to read! I highly recommend signing up with one of the local libraries and their reading program. I have not found one library that does not have such a program over the summer. My son and I have been doing this since he was a baby, and yes, babies can sign up too! It is something that we look forward to every single summer.
I personally like to go to the Tempe Public Library, even though it is a bit of a drive. I like their reading program and activity schedule the best. Oh yes, not only do these libraries roll out a cool and fun reading program, but they typically have some type of entertainment that goes along with it, and it’s all for FREE! We have seen programs that include a mad chemist, a balloon animal expert, reptiles, zoo animals, magic show, etc. When the summer is long and unbearably hot here, this is the perfect way to get out of the house and do something fun with the kids for free.
SUMMER READING PROGRAM INFO
- Who can sign up? These programs let infants, toddlers, kids, and adults sign up.
- What is entailed? All you have to do is log 20 minutes of reading a day to build up to different levels of prizes. Coupons are also offered on many of the sites.
- What do you get at the end? You typically receive a free book!
- It is a simple and easy process. For more information, check out Maricopa County Reads.
One other thing I would like to mention is that some neighborhoods are creating their own libraries with something called “Little Free Library!” This is a free library stand that you can purchase so that anyone can have access to a small library 24/7! There are kits that you can purchase to create your own little free library in your front yard. My neighborhood already has three of these and my son loves to go and visit them. This actually inspires him to want to read, which is the whole point. You are encouraged to take a book and leave a book. When you are finished, you can bring the book back to pay it forward. Look around your neighborhood to see if any of them have popped up!