It is so hard to believe, but my son's school only has three more days until summer break. One of the challenges of summer break is trying to make sure that the kids don't get too far from what they have learned, but also making sure that they are kids and can enjoy their break.
From my experience, reading is a great way to keep your children's minds active in the summer. It doesn't have to be just them reading books, you can make it interesting and more of a learning experience by mixing it up. Read chapter books together with your kids and discuss them. Not only does this allow you time to bond, but it helps your kids develop reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Have your child read a book and then 'retell' you the story in their own words. This can help to ensure that they are reading and comprehending the story and not just seeing the words. Read books that are set somewhere local and then, take a field trip to the area and see if you can find familiar landmarks from the books.
We have found that reading time is a great 'down' time for kids. An opportunity to have some quiet time, alone time and to spend some time out of the sun. With a library in most communities, a wide array of books is readily accessible to suit any interest and reading level.
As we do every summer, we are planning to take the kids to the library and sign them up for the summer reading program. It is a nice program and rewards them for reading and checking in on their progress. They get little things, like choosing a prize out of a treasure chest, getting stickers and bookmarks and at the end of the summer, a free book. The prizes aren't big, but they are incentive enough for the kids to want to read.
Signing up for reading programs can help to provide added incentive to kids to read. In addition to library reading programs, there are a number of retailers and other groups who also offer summer reading programs with benefits:
Barnes and Noble: Read 8 books and turn in the form to receive one free book from the available list. Turn in completed sheets from now to September 6th.
Borders: Read 10 books and earn a free book (select titles). Turn in form between June 1 - September 5.
Half-Priced Books: Read 600 minutes or more and turn in the completed reading log at Half Price Books to receive $5 Back-to-School Bucks. Turn in the reading log between July 25 – August 7.
Summer Break with Book It: Read 5 books and mail in a form for a chance to win a Summer Break Prize Pack. Sweepstakes begins 6/15/11 and ends 8/15/11.
Scholastic Summer Challenge: Children can log their reading minutes for a chance to be one of three potential winners of a Klutz book prize pack. Log minutes from May 15, 2011 to June 4, 2011.
This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.