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Summer Reading Tips

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Summertime provides a break from the stress of homework and the daily school schedule. Reading, however, is a skill that is important to work on all year.  Following are some tips for helping ensure that your child keeps reading all summer. 

  • Keep books in the car and make sure that a good book gets tucked into sports bags and campers' backpacks.
  • Get your child his or her own library card.
    Take or allow him to go to the library to browse for books and enjoy special activities (see article on the Durham County Library’s Summer Reading Program).
  • Help your child select books on topics he or she is interested in and on his or her reading level.
    A simple rule of thumb for helping your child select books at his reading level is to have him or her choose a page in the book (not the first one) and read it. If he doesn’t know five or more of the words, then the book is too hard for pleasure reading.
  • Have plenty of books, books on tape, magazines, and other reading material around for children to read.
  • Stock up on inexpensive books.
  • Connect reading with other summer activities.
    For example, read books about places you will go over the summer or things you will be doing. Perhaps you will visit the beach or go camping, there are many good books about the beach and camping!
  • Set goals and reward reading.
    Reward reading with more reading. If your child finishes one book, stop by the store or library and let him pick out another.
  • Let your children see you read.
    Read the newspaper over your morning coffee, take a magazine from the rack in a doctor's office while you wait, and stuff a paperback into your purse, pocket, or briefcase. Your kids will catch on to the fact that reading is something you like to do in your spare time.
  • Make reading together fun and memorable.
    Even if your child is a super reader, he or she probably still likes to be read to. Children love to read letters and notes you write them. Maybe have a day of no talking only writing and reading each other’s notes.
  • Read it, then do it.
    Does your child want to learn magic tricks? Juggling? Computer games? There's sure to be a book that can help him. Have your child read the instructions and then give it a try.