The beauty of reading is that it lets you travel in a way you could never know. — Alek Wek

You can make your children’s summer an adventure through reading. Reading opens up a lifetime of learning and enjoyment for children, whether they are 4 or 14. Summer provides time to relish adventure and learning through reading.

Parents, you may have a battle on your hands — to get your children away from the television and video games to make time for reading. Too much screen time robs your family of other enjoyable activities you can do together. If you schedule reading time for the summer from the first day of vacation and are consistent in enforcing this time, you may find that you and your children look forward to reading.

For your young children, reading to them before they go to sleep provides calm and peace for sound sleep. With your older children, reading aloud from a good chapter book may tease them to want to know what happens next until they pick the book up on their own. Reading aloud to your children helps their emotional and social development. Check out “The Read-Aloud Handbook,” by Jim Trelease, for ideas and book selections or Erika at https://www.whatdowedoallday.com.

Taking all your children to libraries and kid-friendly book stores can be fun for everyone. Family trips to local libraries can give way to family outings — trips to used book shops, to library book sales, thrift stores and yard sales. Many times, you can pick up books for as little as 10 cents each. Surrounding your children with books encourages them to read more and more often.

For children, books need to be visible in your home. The more books children see, the more they will be able to make choices and discover their personal preferences for reading. Entice reluctant readers by matching books to their interests. Sports stories and mysteries may interest both boys and girls. Ask your librarian for books to match your children’s curiosity. Make it a habit to visit your library regularly.

Planning your vacation to places you have read about in books is also a possibility. Being in the home of their favorite author and in the environment about which he/she is writing brings the stories to life for your children.

What children eat may determine their ability to give attention to reading. Children may become too restless after eating sweets to concentrate on reading. A high-fat diet can create a problem because the body is too busy dealing with these foods that do not digest easily to be able to sit down to read.

Healthy eating and adequate sleep are ingredients that add to the joy of reading, as reading together gives you and your children food for thought, imagination, creativity and travel. Reading aloud to children even when they can read for themselves allows them to hear beautiful language, interesting words and most important, to feel secure and loved.

Have fun with Kid Scoop in this edition about how to get caught reading.

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at bettemroz@gmail.com

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