Activities to Keep Your Child Engaged in Summer Reading

Tips to keep even the most reluctant reader engaged in summer reading.

Last month we told you about the “summer slide”, or what happens when kiddos leave school for three months, only to also leave behind homework and educational stimulation. Without summer reading during the summer break, children can lose up to three months of reading skills. When children return to school in the fall, they can find themselves behind and might need the first few months of school to brush up on skills they learned last year, but forgot over the summer. This summer, keep even the most reluctant reader engaged with everyday reading and comprehension. Here are some of our favorite ideas to keep reading at the forefront of your family this summer.

Make it a family affair
This summer, make family reading time a regular occurrence in your home. If you have smaller kids, you can spend time reading a book together. For older and more independent reading kids, make it a part of your family schedule for everyone to grab something to read after dinner for at least 30 minutes. Children who see mom and dad reading are more likely to become lifelong readers themselves, so pick up a book and catch up with your favorite author.

Practice every day reading
Reading happens every day, throughout “real life”. Don’t forget to capitalize on these reading moments with kids of all ages. Ask your elementary school child to read aloud the recipe, or for your older child to read an article about how to tune up the family bikes. Then, have the child summarize it for you aloud.

Try new kinds of material
You might love novels, but not everyone else does. Summer is a great time to experiment with new reading materials and genres for your kids. The more new styles of literature your child tries this summer, the greater chance that he will find something that he loves. Pick up poetry, graphic novels, nonfiction, and sci-fi. Try a bit of everything and talk about what your child liked, and didn’t like, about each genre.

Hit the library
No one is too old, or too young, for the library. Your local librarians love to work with families and children to find books in the stacks that you are sure to love. Further, most libraries have summer reading incentive programs; sign your child up and support his requests to hit the library as often as you can.

Make it fun
Reading doesn’t have to happen at the kitchen table or at a school desk. You can make summer reading extra fun by encouraging your child to read in your backyard hammock, on a beach towel at the pool, with a flashlight in a tent, or under a shade tree.

Write your own adventure
Encourage your child to write, or draw, their own pieces of fiction or nonfiction. They can draw what they want to do this summer, or write about their favorite part of the local swimming pool. Kids can write to cousins and friends who live far away, or draw a comic about the book they just read.

Ask for help
Not sure what your child should be working on this summer? Find out your child’s strengths and weaknesses by chatting with their Tutor Doctor tutor. Our tutors are happy to give you some ideas about how you can work with your child during the summer months – that is what we are here for!

Make this summer a summer of reading for your entire family!

Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Students

10 Weeks of Summer Reading Adventures for You and Your Kids