Join a Library Summer Reading Program!
Have you thought about enrolling your kids in a library summer reading program? There are so many benefits for children to join a summer reading program at their local library. Two benefits are students continue to strengthen their reading skills and also have fun while in the program. And it’s free! Who can beat that, right? Today’s post I share ten reasons why your child should join a library’s summer reading program.
My children LOVE going to the library. It’s one of our favorite field trips. We probably visit our local library at least once a week if not two times a week. Aside from checking out new reading material to read, my kids love the various programs our local library has to offer. (Living in a big city, we actually have many options as to which library we can visit and check out materials. This makes my kids library experience even more enriching.)
One program my children always seem to love is the summer reading program. They love joining our local library’s summer reading program because it challenges them to read and they enjoy the program activities. Have you thought about enrolling your child in a summer reading program? There are many benefits for children to join a reading program at their local library. Let’s take a look at ten reasons why you should enroll your child in a library’s summer reading program.
1. Encourages Reading
Summer break is usually about 1 to 2 months long. Joining a summer reading program at your local library will help your child continue to practice his reading skills. Once school starts back up, he will not be behind, either.
For the homeschooler, joining a summer reading program is a great way to have a more relaxed school approach. Some homeschool families take off from school during the summer, while other homeschool families school year-round. My children, for instance,are continuing school until mid-July because I am due to have my baby the beginning of August. Our summer break will actually begin mid-July and we will be off from school until the end of September.
We plan on having a very relaxed summer school session. The library’s summer reading program is a great way for my kids to continue their English, Language Arts, and Reading studies without me having to plan lessons. They get to choose the books they want to read and enjoy their time reading with no pressures of assignments accompanying the reading.
2. Learning While Having Fun
Joining your local library’s summer reading program is a lot of fun! The library’s usually offer prizes for the children when they reach their reading goals. Some library programs offer activities during the meeting times. For example, when we lived in Tennessee, the children’s library we went to held special classes on the meeting dates. The library featured various activities, games, and even a cooking class!
3. Keeps Kids on Track for New School Year
This tip coincides with the “Encouraging Reading” tip I mentioned above. If there is a long break in-between school and summer break, then children will tend to have a learning gap when they start school again. Joining a library’s summer reading program can help bridge that gap.
When my daughter was in the fourth grade, she joined our local library’s summer reading program just for fun. At the time, she was a little behind with her reading skills. The summer reading program really helped strengthen her reading skills so she didn’t fall further behind when she started the fifth grade.Joining a summer reading program keeps kids on track for school. Click To Tweet
4. Gives a Sense of Accomplishment After Reading a Book
Children naturally love to learn. They love exploring the world around them and discovering new things. Children also love accomplishing goals and tasks, similar to playing a board game or a video game. Of course, they love to win, right?
Joining a summer reading program can also be a great game. As your child reaches her goal in the reading program, it gives her a great sense of accomplishment, just like beating a level on a video game. She feels empowered and encouraged to continue reading and to reach her academic goals.
5. Teaches Goal-Setting Skills
And speaking of reaching goals, joining your library’s summer reading program also teaches students how to set goals. Setting goals is a very important academic skill for children to have, not only at the secondary education level, but also in higher learning. When you teach your children to set goals at an early age, they will be more successful in setting goals as they mature and reach adulthood.
Yes, joining a summer reading program can teach your child how to set goals! Most reading programs have a set of instructions on how to complete the program. For instance, one reading program we did at our local library required the students to keep a reading log. At each weekly meeting, a librarian would check their reading log and the students would receive a stamp for reading their book(s) the previous week. In order to prepare for this, the children had to know how many books or pages to read and then work hard during the week to reach their weekly goal. Preparing for and reaching the weekly goal was a great teachable moment in teaching the children how to set goals.Joining a summer reading program teaches kids how to set goals! Click To Tweet
6. Builds Vocabulary
Reading is a great way to build a child’s vocabulary. When a child read’s a book, he learns new words. This will help him build his vocabulary for conversation skills and writing skills.
According to Susan B. Neuman for Scholastic.com, children who acquire a substantial vocabulary are often able to think more deeply, express themselves better, and actually learn new things more quickly. Generally speaking, the larger a child’s vocabulary, the better a reader he will be (“Early Literacy: Building Vocabulary to Build Literacy”, Scholastic).
Neuman goes on to say children should explore different types of books, formats, and subjects. She recommends parents “note and savor the interesting words” children encounter and “talk about what these words mean and help children pronounce them.”
7. Meet New Friends
Library summer reading programs are also a great way for children to meet and make new friends. For the public school student, she can either stay connected with friends from school or make new friends during summer break. While for the homeschool student, he can use the summer reading program as an opportunity to socialize outside of the home, make new friends, or reconnect with old friends.
My teen daughter met her good friend at our local library. Ever since they’re meeting, they have been the best of friends, and her friend goes to public school! It doesn’t matter that Mj is a homeschool student; her friend doesn’t even consider Mj’s homeschooling an issue for their friendship. Joining a library’s summer reading program is a great way for homeschoolers and public school students to connect and form friendships.
8. Develops/Strengthens Communication and Critical Thinking Skills
Joining a library’s summer reading program can also help students develop or strengthen their communication and critical thinking skills. For communication skills, children are learning how to communicate with the leaders of the reading program and the other children who are also in the program with them.
While for critical thinking skills, children activate their critical thinking skills when they discuss their book with the program leaders or with their peers. Something simple as explaining what the book is about utilizes both communication and critical thinking skills. Also, asking your child probing questions about their book of choice, such as “why do you think the character made this particular decision in the story?” encourages your child to stop and think critically about the story and the characters.
Asking your child probing questions about their book of choice, such as “why do you think the character made this particular decision in the story?” encourages your child to stop and think critically about the story and the characters.
9. Keeps Kids Busy
Sometimes children get a little bored during summer break, especially if they’re not staying active. It’s nice to have a couple of weeks where you’re just relaxing and not worrying about responsibilities, but after awhile children will start to get restless.
Joining a summer reading program can give children something to do so they don’t feel bored. It’s a win-win situation when you really think about it. The library’s summer reading program keeps your child busy and she continues learning all at the same time!
10. It’s FREE!
Moms and Dads love this one. I mean, this is the best reason of all, right? 🙂 Library summer reading programs are FREE! I have yet to see a library summer reading program which requires some form of payment.
With so many expensive summer camps being offered for kids, it is refreshing to know there is at least one summer activity you don’t have to worry about paying. And you don’t even have to pay for the books because you check out your reading material at the library!
Have you thought about registering your child for the library’s summer reading program?