A boy reading a book with an orange cover

Research shows students can maintain or improve where they are academically from one school year to the next by doing one simple thing: reading over the summer. In fact, students who read at least five books during the summer can maintain important literacy skills teachers have been working to build during the school year. More so, having access to books increases reading opportunities, and enjoyment of reading and exposes children to new experiences.

5 Tips for Making Reading Part of Your Summer Fun

Set the example
Reading is a free activity children and parents can do together. For a student to become a lifelong reader they need to see someone in their family set the example. Setting aside 10-15 minutes every day to read alongside a child can make a difference in so many ways! 

Make a “Summer Fun Journal”
For just a few dollars you can pick up a composition notebook for your child to use as their “Summer Fun Journal”. The idea is to combine your child’s favorite activities with writing prompts. On each page write a short prompt to go along with an activity they are doing: going to grandma’s house, doing a craft, taking trips, making cookies, etc. The activity can be anything and the prompt helps kids put their experience into words like authors do! 

Read everything, everywhere
In some cases, the world is the best classroom. Have your child read signs, billboards, brochures…everything. If you go on a trip and visit a museum, have them read the plaques. By doing this they are practicing reading out loud, sounding out words and building their confidence.

Make the library fun
As adults, when we think of a library we think of having to be quiet and keep our voices down, not necessarily fun. Kids may think the same thing too. You can help change their perspective on going to the library by making it a fun outing every week. You could go to the library weekly but have to pick a book in a new genre each time. Maybe you all enroll in the library’s summer reading challenge for the chance to win cool prizes. Or, after you get your books you might suggest going out for ice cream or to the park. The library is a fun place to be!

When reading, ask your child questions
This is a big one. Talking about the books you all are reading, asking questions, discussing themes and re-telling stories helps children understand language.

A great place to start reading with your student this summer is through the library. The librarians at the Corydon and Elizabeth Branches are helpful and can share even more resources with you that are often low-cost or free. Happy reading!