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Challenge Your Kids to Read This Summer


Last week the nonprofit Common Sense Media released disheartening data on the reading habits of teens. The group said nearly half of 17 year olds say they only read for pleasure roughly two times a year if that.

Traditionally that reading takes place during the summer. But because of all the electronic distractions competing with their attention these days, reading becomes even less or a priority and during the summer an “erosion” of their reading skills takes place.

As parents, if you challenge your kids to read during the summer months, their interest in reading may increase and perhaps their readings skills will too. The Georgia Department of Education is promoting Georgia’s 2014 Reading Challenge to help you get your kids to read while school is out.

The best way to get kids to read is to find them good books. Navigate to the Find the Right Book for You website for ideas. It finds challenging books to read based on Lexile Reading score or grade level that cover multiple topics. Try it out!

The boom in young adult literature turned into film can assist in coaxing teens to read. For example John Green’s “The Fault in our Stars” about love-struck cancer afflicted teens comes out on film on June 5th. You can challenge your teen to read the book first, then see the movie and conduct a comparison. Was the movie faithful to the book? Did the filmmaker cast the right actors based on the descriptions of the characters in the book?

Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media also made the following observation to NPR:
"Kids with parents who read, who buy or take books out of the library for their kids, and who then set time aside in their kids' daily schedule for reading, tend to read the most - whether it's on a book, an e-book or some other gadget.”

Do these things and your kids will be challenged to read more and enjoy it.