Summer vacation for many students is a time for play, a time for part-time jobs, a time for camp, a time for family trips – all of which are positive ways to spend the break from school. Summer can also mean a lack of structure, which for many students doesn’t translate to time focused on improving skills for the following school year.
A common assignment for students of all ages is to read over the break. Schools often have reading lists and an assigned book for students to read before the start of the following year. But this is only a start; students have to take the time and put it into reading.
Parents and educators alike don’t want to sit back to discover students have spent the entire summer with their eyes locked on screens, on social media.
So how does one help students to open up books for a summer of reading?
SCHEDULE READING TIME
Plain and simply, set aside an hour a day that the student is to read. This is a time to unplug and sit with the book. Perhaps the student won’t use the full hour, but keeping the habit will ensure that reading happens.
Students will be more likely to read if they know it will lead to a prize or gift. It can be as simple as read for an hour and then they are allowed to go online. For every book they finish, treat them to a trip to the movies. Whatever tactics used to ensure students do their homework during the school year can be reapplied towards summer reading goals.
MAKE A PROGRESS CHART
Have students begin the summer by constructing a poster graph that will allow them to show off their progress as they read through the break. The graph can provide daily updates such as what page they are up to, or have a place for the student to draw their own version of the book covers as they finish. This is a way to give them incentive to read that also celebrates their success and makes them proud of what they’ve accomplished.
When it’s time to drop everything and read, join the student with your own book. Help foster a reading community in your home and show them that reading isn’t just for their school years, it’s a hobby they will be doing for their whole lives. It helps parents connect with their children and create a shared sense of reading accomplishments.
What are some ways you motivate your children to read during the summer?