Now that nearly every child in the U.S. is on summer break, the summer work begins!
That work is getting through the mandated summer reading list.
Each year, schools remind kids that they are to keep up with their reading over the summer in order to keep developing brain muscles flexed.
And we agree.
But, how do you make reading more like a mini vacation instead of an extended school year? Here are some tips for helping your kids to take an imaginary trip through the pages of a book:
1.) Create a magical space for reading and relaxation
Make their reading refuge a place where the fun and magic happens. You can set up a tent, add pillows, a bean bag chair, their favorite blanket and other relaxing items that smell good and send them off into another world while their noses are in books.
2.) Establish a routine
Make reading a regular part of their day so that it is something they come to expect at a certain time each day, just like they come to expect to have dinner at a certain time.
3.) Be a parent who reads
Kids who read have parents who read. It’s as simple as that. Imitation is the best form of flattery.
4.) Books Should Be Accessible
If they can’t get to them easily, they will want to read them. Make sure your kids have a book with them at all times. Be certain that bookshelves at home are easy to reach.
5.) Finding Books Should Be an Adventure
Take regular trips to the library or bookstores. Even thrift shops are fun when it comes to finding rare books and make a whole day out of searching for books, having a light lunch and reading together.
6.) Have a Reading Group
Read books together and discuss them. Talk about the characters, the plot, plot twists and backstories. This gets kids to think critically about what they read instead of just getting through the words on a page.
7.) Introduce your child to book series
Book series keep the interest going because they ask the critical question, “what happens next?” They also get children interested in other works by a single author who may write other characters or in another genre.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!