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Reading: Make Sure It’s on the Summer List

Summer To-Do lists can run something like this in Montana: swim, bike, play at the park, get ice cream, camp, picnic, sleep late, find shade or shelter, as well as they myriad of regular tasks such as finding childcare, keeping up on household chores and scheduling out work and vacation time.

When making out your list for the summer, make sure that reading happens each day with your children.

Why summer reading?

Teachers assign it, libraries offer programs for it, and various organizations hand out free books all to encourage reading. Turns out, there’s some serious science behind those events: kids who do not engage in learning over the time they are out of school, are further behind in the fall than when they left school in the spring.

Continuous reading and learning is essential to maintaining the child’s learning skill set over the summer!

Tips to keep the kiddos in tip-top shape over the summer break:

  • Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves.
  • Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys basketball, agree to take them to the local court if they do their “daily reading.”
  • Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.
  • Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids to an ice cream store, consider reading a book about how ice cream is made or where milk comes from later that day. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.

( 6.24.2019)

Most counties in Montana have at least one library. Check out websites for information on dates and times of the reading programs. Many have fun prizes and incentives for completing reading logs.