Holiday break offers the perfect excuse to encourage kids to take a quiet moment with their favorite book. Studies show that the way students fill their time on break has a significant impact on not only their academic growth, but whether they retain the progress they've made in school so far! And so whether your child is an enthusiastic bookworm or a little less than excited about the whole idea, these suggestions are designed to help keep them turning the pages (and maybe even enjoying it!) over the break from school.
Help your child choose the right books. Holiday break is a great time for kids to start reading a fun, new series or a book about a topic they might be interested in, like a sport or nature, something they might not have had time to read during the school year. In many cases, kids who aren't interested in reading haven't yet 'been exposed to books that align with their interests' or may not be at their reading level. Let your child choose a book they're interested in reading, whatever the topic may be, so long as they're engaged, they'll keep the pages turning. They might just find that binge-reading is more fun than binge-watching!
Engage with your reader. Whether your child chooses to read science fiction, an illustrated or graphic novel, a comic book or a fun chapter book, ask them about it -- or maybe even read a chapter out loud with them. Talking to your child about books helps them to develop important language skills, and understand how authors create stories and build characters. By asking them questions, you'll encourage them to continue to use their imagination -- and better yet, reading a story with them will help your child become a stronger writer and reader.
Explore a local library. Not sure what your child might want to read? Looking for a place to explore a few different types of books? A local library is the perfect place. Librarians are experts in matching young readers with a wide variety of different kinds of books and even reading programs, if they're interested. Find your nearest library at worldcat.org/libraries and encourage your child to pick out several books that look like fun!
Make the time. Kids can be pulled in so many directions when they're on break and it's so easy to put reading on the back burner. You may want to create a reading routine so that it doesn't get lost during the day. Set a daily reading goal for your child to read a certain number of minutes -- at least 15 or 20 minutes each day, but the more time spent on quality reading, the better. Who knows, they may get lost in their imagination and read even more than they planned!
Explore all of your reading options. There are many free apps and online tools that can support reading. Websites like Storyline Online and One More Story offer books that are read out loud to children (anywhere, anytime) by known actors, who also explain why they enjoyed the story and encourage independent reading. Here's a few other interesting resources to consider that might just spark your child's imagination and inspire them to develop a lifelong love of reading:
Scholastic Book Recommendations by Age Group
Scholastic Book Set Recommendations for All Ages
First Books' 'Stories for All' Diverse Book Recommendations
FirstBooks' Social & Emotional Learning Book Recommendations
Read-Alikes: What to Read After Your Child Loves a Particular Series
Don't forget about Non-Fiction for all Ages
K12Reader.com: Free Reading Instruction Resources for Parents and Teachers
Oxford Owl: Resources for struggling readers, encourages reading, phonics, grammar, punctuation and spelling
Reading Rockets: Teaching Reading and tools for struggling readers