Before I seriously entered into this crazy blogging world my profession was as a Librarian. I started young; at 16 I worked in a children’s Library then I studied at university to become a Librarian (yes that is a thing!) and then continued my career based around children’s libraries and children’s reading. Since having a child at school who has been learning to read I have seen it all from the other side as a parent and putting the two together has been great for me. Little Man loves reading and has felt a huge sense of pride being able to end his first year of school being able to read on a basic level. One thing I really want to make sure if that he doesn’t lose that passion over the summer holidays so I have come up with some tips and tricks on how to keep our kids reading over the summer whether they are 5 or 15.
Reading Schemes – Most primary schools have a reading scheme that the kids work through; Little Man has loved moving through the different colour stages this year so we got a reading scheme for home too. We have The Big Cat set but there are loads of different ones out there. He has got into a habit of reading the book he brings home every day from school so I am going to continue this habit over the summer with our own set.
Games – With primary ages kids who are still learning to read and also reluctant readers it is sometimes better to play phonics and reading games with them rather than sitting down to read a book. There are loads of worksheets you can download online but also just making some flash cards can be just as effective. Making words, nonsense words, tricky words can all be turned into a game to help it seem less of a chore but keeping their reading practice on the go too. Your local library should be holding their Summer Reading Challenge too which is another great way to encourage reading in a fun way.
Read Together – I try to make sure that the kids see me reading at home so it is seen as a normal thing to do at home so having some quiet time after lunch or at the end of the day to read can really help to make good reading habits. It could be you all sat reading individually or sharing a story together. Allocating reading time in a busy day is a really great way to get the kids to wind down too. The same goes for bedtime stories; be it reading individually before bed or for younger ones having a bedtime story. Creating good reading habits now is so important.
Teens – As for secondary school aged kids, well they can be a bit trickier. I spent over 8 years as a School Librarian in a secondary school so I know how challenging getting teens to read is. However there are so many amazing childrens and teen books out there now, there really is something for everyone. Teen fiction is a whole new world nowadays and the books really can be as good as the latest series on Netflix. If you are looking for inspiration as to what books to buy the older kids here is a list of 10 really popular titles at the moment (thank you to a fellow Librarian for passing these over to me).
The only other tip I have to get kids reading is to give it time. Allocate reading time because it is so very very important. A love for reading needs to be encouraged from very young but then sustained as the kids get older. They may seem reluctant at times but it is really worth the smiles when they find the first book that they really fall in love with. And remember if you love reading they just might too. Share your passion and show how fun, enlightening and exciting getting involved in a story can be.
Happy Summer Reading
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