Monday, June 11, 2007

Reading - Make it Fun for the Kids this Summer!

As kids look forward to the last day of school, most middle school public school teachers remind their students to read at least 25 books over the summer. While this is certainly a daunting challenge, there are ways reading can be included in fun summer ideas for kids.

While it is estimated that school kids put in more hours than working adults, they too need a bit of a break. The first week of vacation should be devoted to rest and relaxation. This can then be followed by weekly trips to the library wherein kids can choose their own reading material specifically in topics which interest them. All year long they are being told what to read. By giving them the opportunity to choose books they like, they won’t feel so overwhelmed. Allowing them to decide what to read will give them the flexibility to seek different genres such as Harry Potter, and the ability to engage in this ongoing adventure.

Children are under a great deal of pressure during the school year. Summer should be a time of fun, but it can also be a time of learning as well. If your kids love to read, the trips to the library will be exciting for them. If they are hesitant, allow them to browse around. If they don’t choose any books the first time around, try again a week later. They may come upon a book or books which grab their attention. You can be assured once they find a topic of interest, especially if it’s a serialized book, they will want to return.

Fun summer ideas for kids can include reading as part of their summer enjoyment. It all depends upon how it is approached. While the 25-book requirement may or may not be reached, it is important for the kids not to feel pressured, but allowed to read at their own pace. If they manage to read 1 book every 2 weeks, that’s a plus. Whether they take a book to the beach or read aloud at home, reading should be a fun and relaxing time for kids.

If the 25 book goal might seem a little lofty, split it up into doable smaller goals - like 5 books each. Make a cool chart with an image, like a child climbing a mountain, that will show all of the small goals that lead up to the 25 goal peak. At every 5-book interval, have a little reward for your child...a trip to the pool, something that they can pick out at the dollar store, or maybe a night where they get to plan the entire family dinner! Doing small, inexpensive things like this can be just the ticket your child needs to boost their interest in reading!

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