Tips for Parents: Keep Your Kids Reading This Summer!
When the teachers aren't there to encourage your kids to read, it's up to you! Here are a few tips:
- Don't just TELL kids reading is important - SHOW them! Let them see you reading, whether it's a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a letter, a recipe, an instruction booklet, or whatever - print or online. Talk to your kids about what you are reading, as well as what they are reading.
- During the summer, set aside time for the family to read together, either as a group or each with his or her own book. It doesn't have to be long - just a few minutes a day.
- Don't make reading time a punishment for misbehavior, or something unpleasant that your kids must endure before they are allowed to do a preferred activity; this will only teach them that reading is something to be avoided, not valued and enjoyed.
- In summer, kids don't have access to books through the school library, so make sure they have access in other ways. Put books on a shelf where kids can reach them. Visit libraries and bookstores. Look for books at thrift stores and garage sales. Swap books with other families so everybody gets something new to read.
- The Austin Public Library has free, fun summer programs for kids of all ages; you don't even have to have a library card to participate. But, you should also have a public library card! It gives you and your child access to thousands of books, plus eBooks and other digital resources, audiobooks, movies, and more.
- Digital reading counts! Help your kids access free quality online reading materials through AISD's MackinVIA and myON, and the Austin Public Library.
- Encourage kids to share books with friends and to talk about them together. Offer to provide a special snack for a summer "book club" meeting, or organize a group of kids to visit the public library together.
- Reading isn't just in books! Talk to your kids about how you are using reading in everyday life - following a recipe, checking the weather on your phone, comparing products in the supermarket, reading directions or road signs or a menu in a restaurant, or anything else.
- If you are taking a summer trip, involve your kids in reading about where you will go and planning the activities. Let them be the tour guides and teach you about something new they have learned from reading.