Now that I’m responsible for educating my own children, I’ve been pondering how to avoid summer mush brain.
I am all for having a carefree summer that is spontaneous, void of most scheduling, and has tons of time for explorative and imaginative play, but I also don’t want them forgetting everything we have worked so hard to learn all year.
We tend to learn wherever we are, and so I know our summer will be filled with conversations about painted turtles and who their predators are, or what is that slimy green stuff on top of the water. But I want to be intentional about keeping them reading over the summer.
My children (and most children I’ve taught) are most willing to engage when they know what is expected of them, when they have goals, and when you mix a bit (or a lot) of fun into it. You can start by determining with your child the number of minutes a day or week that you want your child to read.
Fifteen minutes a day is a good average, and will ensure lots of exposure to books over the summer. Next you can create some goals. Examples might be that after seven days, you get a reward coupon. On the “How Does She” blog, I found reading Bingo.
She has a Bingo card full of places or times to read that you can pick any time. You might dot a square for reading on a Tuesday, reading under the table, or reading with a flashlight.
Once you have a Bingo line, you get a reward coupon, and once you get a blackout, you get a golden ticket for a big reward. The incentives can be simple, and include things like a trip to the park or an ice cream date.
You can also create a summer reading bucket list. Include books that your child can read individually, and ones that you can read as a family. Road trips are also an excellent time to fit in that reading, so be sure to bring extra books.