Summer is in full swing, and there are so many things for us to choose from for out kiddos to do. There are so many camps, swimming, sports, trips, out of town family visiting, and one of my favorites, just having some relaxed time at home. As a teacher mom, I feel so lucky to have extra time with my children in the summer. One of my other favorite things to do in the summer is to dive into summer reading. Summer reading lists might cause you to despair or celebrate. Either way, I think about it as a time for my boys to read books that they might not have time to read during the school year and to explore new authors and series that they love.
As a child, I loved going on family vacations in the summer. I brought a bag of books with me and devoured them during the ride to and from the beach. When it got dark in the car, I got out my tiny flashlight so I could find out what happened next. The colorful front covers and the soft pages in the hands took me into new worlds. I grew up in a family of readers, and that is what our home is now as well.
What if you’re thinking, “But my child doesn’t like reading!” For children who don’t naturally gravitate to reading, I would suggest going to the library and checking out some books about their favorite subjects, whether it is their favorite sports team or player, their favorite animal, favorite place to visit, etc. Then you can read the books together at night before they go to bed. For us, summer is a time to create more of a love for reading, because you can read about literally anything. When children start to equate reading with something interesting and bonding time with a parent, it’s a win-win.
Now that my boys are old enough to read a lot on their own, reading is also a summer boredom buster. If one of them says they’re bored, one of my standard answers is asking them if they have a good book to read. Some schools have required summer reading lists for the summer, which I personally like. This gives usually gives some required reading, and some reading by choice, which gives a good balance. This helps my boys branch out and read something they might not have picked out otherwise and helps them learn about new authors.
Reading together over the summer can also improve fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary, which are all key components of reading. I can’t wait to finish some of the books on my bedside table too!