I enjoy beaches and pools, however my true passion of summer has always been reading. Many of my childhood summers were spent going to our local public library and participating in their reading programs. I enjoyed the programs and hanging out with my friends. Yet, the best part was reading book after book when I came home. Now I still look forward to summer reading. I enjoy taking my kids to our public library and watching them build their own reading memories. I pick out books to take to the beach and magazines to take to the pool. Reading and summer still go together.
Summers can be as busy as the school year though and it can be challenging to keep my children reading. Fortunately, there are so many ways to maintain a literature rich environment in the summer, even when you are on the go. Here are my top three:
1. Public Library Programs: Still my favorite! Most communities have public libraries with awesome free summer reading programs. My kids have attended water days, live performances, and made crafts, new friends, and new memories. We usually try to leave with an arm load of books.
2. Audiobooks: Audiobooks are our secret to a peaceful, quiet car ride. Even though my kids are entering the middle school years, they still enjoy listening to audiobooks. There are lots of sources for free audiobooks such as LibriVox, which can be downloaded on your mobile device. Also, our local library has an online service that provides free movies, books, and audiobooks that can be downloaded (for more information: https://www.overdrive.com).
3. Read for Rewards: Many programs exist that reward students for reading. We usually try to complete the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Triathlon, which is celebrating its twentieth year. Children in grades 1-6 can earn a free book from Barnes and Noble when they complete the Summer Reading Journal by reading eight books of their own choosing. At participating Chuck E. Cheese’s, kids can earn free tokens for reading. An online program from Sylvan Learning, Book Adventure is a free program that rewards kids for reading. Students read a book, take a quiz online and earn points toward prizes.
So while you are coordinating camps, car trips, and pool time, don’t forget to toss some books or audiobooks into your bag. After all, summer is a great time for reading.