Getting your child interested in reading during the summer is the perfect recipe for success—they have months of free time, there are plenty of “summer light” stories for them to get easily invested in, and they can take a book anywhere from the beach to the pool for an afternoon of relaxation. But when back-to-school season hits, their enjoyment of reading can often get pushed aside amidst the chaos of new classes, homework, and extra-curricular activities.
How do you help them to maintain a healthy love for books, even when their schedules get filled up?
Emphasize silent reading hours.
Most schools require students to log a number of silent reading hours per week, but if your kids don’t enjoy the books they choose, this can feel a lot more like homework than fun. Make sure to help them choose books that they have an interest in, so even if it’s slightly more challenging to read than their summer fun novels, they’ll get excited for their silent reading hours!
Limit their technology time.
With all of the things kids are required to do these days—hours in sports practices, music lessons, doing homework until they fall asleep—it’s no wonder that during their down time they want to park it in front of the TV or iPad with their favorite shows. While I don’t think technology hours should be banned, limiting them to watching one or two hours per night will make them find other ways to relax…like sitting down to read their favorite book!
Set the example.
If you want your children to make time for reading, that means they need to see you making time for it as well. That means you need to follow the above tip as well—take a break from the TV and pick up a book in your free hours!
Gamify the process.
Pick a family-friendly read that all of you can enjoy, and then challenge your kids to reading a certain amount per week. Whoever gets through their section the fastest gets a reward, whether that’s being able to choose what to eat for dinner on Friday, gaining control of the TV remote for an evening, or getting to go out for ice cream!
How do you keep your love of reading when times get busy? Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments!