This post is brought to you by Scholastic and ENERGIZER® Batteries. All opinions are my own.
Jake heads back to school in, oh boy, about two weeks! I am going to miss having him home all day, but 5th grade should be exciting for him. He’s had a rough few years with bullies, but this year I hope to see a major difference. Jake joined band and will be learning to play the clarinet. He’s super excited. We also have a new plan in place to deal with bullying.
I’m also pretty excited because, over this summer, Jake has moved from shorter elementary school books to longer, more engaging middle-grade books. This opens up a whole new world of books, many of which are my favorites! I can’t wait until he starts reading books like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and so on. Even though back to school means back to “required reading,” I plan to continue to reward him for reading for fun, since the Scholastic Summer Reading Program gave me so many great ideas for doing it.
Blast Summer Brain Drain & Keep the Summer Reading Momentum All Year Long
The Scholastic Summer Reading Program may be ending in September, but there’s still time to rack up some points and get kids reading-ready! If you visit the parent resources section, you’ll also find some great summer reading tips to help keep kids reading all year long. A few ideas include:
- Printing out the book lists and continuing your summer reading fun by choosing a book each week (or month, depending on the length and your schedule) to read together as a family.
- Playing the Innovation Machine Game monthly as a family. Right now, you can submit your story into the writing contest. After the program ends, though, use it to come up with fun story starters. Have each member of the family write a page!
- Print extra copies of the Reading Log, then work towards your own family reading record. Give a log to each family member (including yourself!) and see who can read the most books for fun during the school year.
- Make your own One Hand Book review booklet. Print out copies for every book your children (and you) read over the summer, then fill out the reviews. Put them all together by age group, genre or however else you want. Then, when someone else needs a book suggestion, you can use it to tell them what you liked about the book. This is SUPER for helping kids get deeper into the story, something that is required as part of Common Core once they hit 4th grade, FYI.
- Have your kids make a book wish list of a different sort. Get out a piece of paper and ask them to write down what they wish they could read about. Do they want to learn more about outer space? Wizards fighting dragons? No titles, just ideas. Then help them look for books that match their wishes. If you can’t find one, help them research and write their own! It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer material, they just need to have fun.
As long as you keep kids reading for fun, anything goes. Jacob gets rewards for reading. During the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, he earned badges, original short stories and contest entries. Throughout the school year, I’ll reward him with “certificates” to the movies, trips to the book store for more books and whatever else I come up with. Check out this fantastic video for more info and ideas to prevent summer brain drain!
Be sure to visit “Videos in the Stacks” to receive reading tips for parents from Scholastic’s Maggie McGuire!
Five Word Book Reviews
Jacob read a lot of great books this summer. Scholastic has challenged us to create 5 word book reviews for 5 of our favorites. You know how wordy I am, right? Jacob takes after me. This WAS a challenge! Here are our fast thoughts on five great books:
- The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip: Weird teacher, super electric adventure!
- Extreme Experiments: Don’t try these at home!
- Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog: Cool dog, funny, favorite books.
- The Elementia Chronicles #1: Quest for Justice: An Unofficial Minecraft-Fan Adventure: It’s Minecraft, so it’s awesome!
- Minecraft Modding for Dummies for Kids: Mom finally gets modding right!
Still time to Win with Energizer!
As you may recall from my previous Scholastic Summer Reading posts, Energizer is the sponsor of this year’s challenge. They’re encouraging kids to Power Up and Read, discover new worlds and even try their hands at inventing new ideas! They’re also giving your family a chance to win great prizes, like a trip to NYC! Now through 10/31, just buy specially marked packages of Energizer batteries and check the Instant Win scratch off! Learn more about the Energizer® Instant Win Game.
With so many valuable resources, it’s easy to keep kids reading for fun all year long. Sign up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge through September 4th and log those minutes!
Did your kids (or you!) read any great books this summer? Tell me about your favorite in the comments!
What a great idea to keep the summer reading train, chugging all year long. My kids enjoy the reading so why quit! Great point!
I think reading is one of the most important parts of learning. I love your idea to keep the reading going with the kiddos
As a Reading Specialist, I absolutely love this post. I know that there are so many people cramming to complete reading logs right now and it is a shame that they didn’t focus on it during the summer. Reading outside in a hammock is the BEST!
My three-year-old grandson has recently begun a phonics program. Yesterday he totally surprised us by understanding a phrase that we spelled out loud. I’m so excited for him to be able to start reading by himself.
We have required reading from school and my kids haven;t even started it yet. We have 3 more weeks of vacation, though.
It really helps to give them books that are related to the things that they are currently interested in. I make sure I also let them choose the books that they want to read.
Reading is one of the most important aspects of learning. I love this post.
Reading is the best! I love the ideas you shared to keep everyone reading beyond summer! 🙂
I am so happy that my son is a reading monster! His younger brother is getting in the habit now too.