Cue Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. “School’s out for summer. School’s out forever.” Maybe not forever. Students are running free in the summertime sun. Teachers are dancing their way out of the hallways. It seems like everyone is welcoming summer with open arms-- except maybe parents.
It can be challenging to think of fun ways to keep your child’s brain engaged over the summer. Every skill they have developed over the school year can hit a slump without continued learning.
Here are some fun ways to jazz up your child’s reading and writing skills to make them literary rock stars this summer:
1. Start a reading list: Help your child make a personal reading list filled with books that they are interested in and would enjoy reading. Following a list will teach your child goal setting and give them a sense of personal accomplishment when they finish their list at the end of the summer. You can also reward your child upon completing the list to celebrate this accomplishment.
If you don’t know where to start with your reading list, check your child’s school website or contact their school office for their suggested reading list.
The Nashville Public Library is also hosting a Summer Challenge where students can read for prizes. Check it out here.
2. Start and adventure book or blog: Get your child a journal or help them start an online blog where they can document their summer adventures. This will help your child develop their writing skills and give them a reason to write daily. If your child is stumped on what to write about for the day, you can find summer time writing prompts here.
3. Plan and research a summer trip: Going on vacation? Have your child help you plan your family vacation. Whether it’s a trip to a local park, beach getaway, or camping in Yellowstone, have your child research the place or any major landmarks you are visiting. It’s like taking your child on an extravagant field trip after they learn fun facts about your destination.
As an added bonus: find books relating to your travel plans for your child to read while on long car rides and flights.
4. State license plate game: Going on a road trip? Keep your child engaged on a long road trip by giving them a list of states and having them check off each state license plate you see while driving. This will help young readers practice their reading while on the road.
5. Plan a pretend vacation: If you aren’t traveling this summer, have your child pick a place in the world they would like to travel to one day and help them research the country and it’s culture. Take them to the library to check out books on the country and open them to a whole new world from the comforts of your own home.
6. Learn about your neighborhood's history: Have your child pick out an old building or landmark near you and help them research the history behind it. Tennessee has a rich history filled with many interesting stories that can help a child transform their everyday surroundings into something more profound. Visit TN History for Kids to find a great resource on Tennessee’s history.
7. Write to a pen pal: Your child can stay in touch with their favorite classmates by having a pen pal! A great way to help your child keep their writing skills sharp over the summer is by having them write a letter to a classmate continuing the correspondence weekly throughout the summer. This will give your child something to look forward to and make them excited about writing.
Have a family "booknic": Take advantage of the sunny weather and make it a family affair by going on a family booknic. Pack a lunch and take it to the park or your family’s favorite outdoor spot and have everyone bring a book they want to read.
9. Write campfire stories: Have each member of the family write a story to share over a campfire in your backyard decked out with homemade smores.
10. Have a karaoke dance party: One fun way to help a child practice their reading is through music. Print out the lyrics to your child’s favorite songs and host a family karaoke night for everyone to perform their favorite jams.
These are just a few of Homework Hotline’s favorite ways to make reading and writing in the summer fun. Have your own fun ideas on how to spice up reading and writing? Share with us in the comments below.