1. TIME--Make sure reading happens every single day. Set a specific time if that helps.
2. TO, WITH, and BY-- In all of my literacy education, the real buzz phrase was Balanced Literacy. One aspect of that means that there should be reading to, with, and by. In other words, every day you should read aloud to your child (even with older children--choose some fun family chapter books), aloud with your child (this is called shared reading, and is most important for emerging readers), and your child should also read by himself. (Even if you don't have an independent reader yet, try to help your young child learn how fun it can be to sit alone with a book and tell himself the story using the pictures.)3. CHART PROGRESS--Obviously there are a zillion ways to do this. A sticker chart, a paper chain, a simple list, etc. My favorite way is to make a looooong caterpillar. Each book gets written on a circle, and up it goes on the wall. For Blaine's we're using dark green circles for the books I read to him, and light green circles for the books he reads to me. So fun!
4. USE YOUR RESOURCES--Most local libraries have a summer reading program. Sign your kids up! There are usually special activities, prizes, etc. Plus, a trip to the library can really break up a long, hot summer day!
5. CELEBRATE--I'm really big on internal incentives. In other words, the ultimate goal is for our children to love reading and to feel good about themselves as their reading skills improve. But I also understand that little rewards go a long way. Help your children set a goal for their summer reading. Depending on the child, it might be to read a certain number of books or pages, or maybe to advance reading levels or improve comprehension. Celebrate with a family party or special meal out.
As with everything, your excitement will set the tone. The more you love to read and learn, the more your children will.
More summer reading ideas? Pray, tell!