Summer Reading Tip #10: Let Your Kid Pick

There are certain books we simply cannot keep on the shelves in the summertime, because kids devour these books, which they may or may not have time to enjoy during the school year.  Occasionally I hear a well-meaning adult try to steer a kid away from one of these “frivolous” reading selections, but I’d like to make a case for letting your kid read what they want, especially during the summer.  Remember, when reading is fun, your kids will want to read more, and when your kids read more, they get better at reading and learning!

When kids read “Search & Find” books like I Spy and Where’s Waldo, they’re working on important study skills in a fun, painless way.  I Spy books can teach kids to:

  • Skim and scan
  • Work methodically
  • Pay close attention to detail
  • Stick with a challenge
  • Think flexibly (sometimes a word can have more than one meaning!)

Comic books such as Garfield can keep kids busy reading for hours.  (Don’t forget to track your time for summer reading!)  Comic books have a number of benefits:

  • Build visual literacy
  • Make inferences
  • Build vocabulary (Dr. Stephen D. Krashen, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Southern California, found a comic book a day will expose your kid to about 500,000 words over the course of a year)
  • Exposure to a variety of art styles

Hybrid novels such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries combine visual elements of comic books and graphic novels with more traditional text-based storytelling to create books kids want to read.  Again, kids build the same important reading skills with hybrid novels as they do with traditional novels.  Try one today, and tell us about your favorite “non-traditional” reading fare in the comments below.