Visit your local library, early in the summer and often throughout. A trip to the library can be game-changing and just may surprise you if you have not been since you were in school. Ask library staff for a tour and have them explain the resources they offer. Not only can you check out as many books as would like, but you have access to advice from expert librarians, and amazing programs. Some libraries offer passes to museums, and others provide access to technology like 3-D printers, recording studios with green screens, tablets, and more. If you have younger children, be sure to attend story time to peak their interest in reading early.
Read every day! If your children are early readers, commit to reading with them at least 15 minutes a day. If you have older children, consider holding a family book club where everyone in the house reads the same book and discusses it. Check out books for free at your library, borrow and give to Free Little Libraries around town or swap books with your neighbors and friends. If you have a reluctant reader, here are some tips to help engage them. Remember it is summer and reading should be enjoyable, so let them decide what they find the most intriguing – even if it isn’t academic or of interest to you. And don’t worry if your child wants to read the same book over and over – the most important part is that they are reading.
Colorado is a beautiful state with many parks, open space, and hiking trails so make plans to get outside and learn! While you are doing this, talk to your children about your surroundings or things that you see. Learn about the history of the area and ask a lot of open-ended questions to help keep young minds processing information and sharp. Consider questions like, what do you think that is? Why do you think that happened? What do you think will happen next?
If you have older children, who have learned how to write, buy a notebook and have your child write in a journal throughout the summer. You can use writing prompts for children of different ages or just let them write about whatever they want to. This should be a fun activity to keep practicing important writing skills over the summer.
Take the Read Now Colorado pledge. My organization runs Read Now Colorado to help improve literacy in Colorado by supporting families with information and resources to help their readers at home and in partnership with their child’s teacher. Families who take the pledge will receive regular information with ideas to keep children reading and learning throughout the summer.