School is out! Time for families to transition to the summer schedule. In the midst of all this change, don't forget that reading with kids in the summer is as important, if not more so, than reading with them during the school year. Why?
In the school year, your children are gaining daily exposure to reading at school so they are practicing there as well as at home with you. When summer comes, kids can lose reading skills, if they don't keep practicing.
Never make it a chore! The secret to reading with your kids in the summer is to make it fun. Think outside the box! Read about your vacation destination or have your kids help research local "mini-vacation" spots right in your backyard. Check out new releases like John H. Ritter's The Desperado Who Saved Baseball for your 5-7th graders, Jon Scieszka's new picture books on trucks for the little ones, Judy Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied (don't be put off by the title - it's a great opportunity to talk with your young adult about truth and consequences). ALA (the American Library Association) has great suggestions for reading lists: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/bestbooksya/09bbya.cfm, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottmedal.cfm, and http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/540000654/post/1530039953.html.
Set up special "quiet reading spots" around your home. A bathtub full of pillows, a quilt in the backyard, a hammock in the shade and keep plenty of magazines, graphic novels, books in print and e Books, a laptop computer handy. Don't forget to stash books or other reading material in the luggage, carry-ons (if you're flying), and in the pockets on the back of the car's front seat. If the stuff to read isn't there, the kids won't even have a chance to read.
Take a break yourself and find a quick read. The power of your example will have an impact on your children. Tell each other about what you are reading. Run to your kids with the latest copy of Sports Illustrated and talk about the NBA finals. Our world is full of opportunities for everyone to read.
Visit http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=42250 to hear the voice of someone else who believes reading is important. Alvin Romer speaks from the heart and tells us how important reading must be in our information-dense society. Also read about Dr. Ben Carson's story at http://carsonscholars.org/.