Happy longest day of the year! And happy summer.
Long summer days are a wonderful time to rediscover the pleasures of reading. Families should make sure that everyone age 7 and older has a library card and make a point of visiting at least 2-3 times a month during the summer. Make friends with the librarians who run the children’s room and see what they recommend. The American Library Association’s website has wonderful resources for finding good books for children and teenagers.
The Child Literacy Center has some good hints for parents on ways to encourage a love of reading in your children. Keep reading to them even when they are old enough to read for themselves. It is a wonderful way to bring the family together.
In addition to giving children a chance to explore all of the imagination and adventure in books, reading will stretch their attention spans and their vocabularies — essential for getting the most out of school and developing communication skills that are the primary predictor of satisfaction and success in the workplace. Giving your children the love of reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can bestow. That means not just encouraging them to read but demonstrating your own love of reading. Let them see you enjoying a great book. When our extended family goes on vacation, we each bring a book we love and one night we all sit down for a swap. It is one of the highlights of our time together and I have found some great reads that way.
Here are some of our family’s read-aloud favorites: