In the summer it can be difficult to encourage reading and help our children keep their brains active and their thinking skills sharp. One way to do this is to have them reading regularly.
This may be challenging, especially if we have reluctant or struggling readers. Sometimes all it takes is a few suggestions or reminders of some really great books to help us out. I have compiled a very short list from a number of sources – students of mine, teachers, personal experience and even the internet. I have to write this disclaimer that I have not personally read all of these books and cannot guarantee that they all meet some parent’s exacting standards. I have tried to choose books to encourage reluctant or struggling readers and to engage children in reading all summer long.
Books You Could Read This Summer:
GR K-3: A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts
GR 3-5: The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
GR 3-6: The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka (especially good for struggling older readers)
GR 4-7: Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt
GR 4-8: Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
GR 5-9: Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
GR 6-8: City of Embers Series by Jeanne DuPrau
Graphic novels are another great way to get reluctant readers into a book or series! Try having them read a sports magazine or comic book.
Make reading as fun as you can – create goals with rewards. Make a big deal of it when they finish a book and keep track of what they have read. (Make a reading wall or build a caterpillar or add flowers to a tree) Have them compete with themselves – can they read more books this week/month than the last one? Have a reading “tent” filled with comfy pillows where they can go to read. If you are driving somewhere this summer, take along a novel to read to the whole family.
One summer, just before we left on a vacation that included 64 hours of driving, we picked up the latest volume of a series we were reading as a family. We created great memories and passed many enjoyable hours reading together as we drove!! (And yes, we did have teenagers with us!! We had electronic devices, but we spent time each day just reading, believe it or not!)
Keep your brain engaged as well to set the example for your children. Check out Norman Doidge’s newest book The Brain’s Way of Healing. Other good books are: When the Brain Can’t Hear – Teri James Bellis, and Driven to Distraction – Edward Hallowell. These can help you better understand your children and give you encouragement in your interactions.
Keep your children engaged and their brains active this summer by reading!
Reluctant readers CAN learn to love reading!
I think sometimes we get caught up in what “all the other kids” are reading. Your child is not all the other kids!! Allow them to read what they want to read in the summer especially. And remember that really the most important thing isn’t what they are reading, but that they are reading!