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Tips and Resources to Complete Your Summer Reading List

Source: @skylarjaybird

For many of you, the bell has likely rang for the last time this academic school year. With the majority of school districts in Texas — and all over the US — closing their physical (or virtual) doors for the summer, one thing is guaranteed.

What could that be? Vacations? Summer camp? Well, maybe for some of you — but I’m talking about the coveted summer reading list.

Summer reading lists have been a staple through early and even higher-level education. Required reading from your child’s school or institution. Many may dread the words “here is your summer reading list!” — but the truth is it’s an important part of a student’s curriculum.

School may be out... But for young and developing minds, we can’t afford to go dark all summer.

Summer reading is a way to keep your child engaged and keep their mind sharp in the lull before the next school year starts.

Research shows that those who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progression. This loss can have a cumulative, long-term effect on your child.

Keep scrolling to discover valuable resources to encourage kids to learn, read, and have fun this summer when it comes to completing their reading lists!


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#1: Leveraging the Power of Audio Books

According to Denise Johnson, assistant professor of reading education at the College of William & Mary, audio books can provide a way for second-language learners, students with learning disabilities, and struggling or non-readers to “access literature and enjoy books.”

What a great way to provide an alternative way to encourage students to read a book! (Long car ride for vacation or camp? Audio book!)

But back to the point, they also provide additional educational benefits for all students, at every level. Denise Johnson argues that audio books can be used to:

  • Introduce students to books above their reading level

  • Model good interpretive reading

  • Teach critical listening

  • Highlight the humor in books

  • Introduce new genres that students might not otherwise consider

  • Introduce new vocabulary or difficult proper names or locales

  • Provide a read-aloud model

  • Provide a bridge to important topics of discussion for parents and children who can listen together while commuting somewhere

It’s important to note that audio books should be used to supplement — not entirely replace — reading. But when used alongside other media, audio books can be another excellent way to instill a love of books into your children.

Wondering where you can access free audio books?

I know that the cost of purchasing books and membership fees can add up. Luckily, there are thousands of free audio books available for readers of all ages if you know where to look.

Here are some FREE sites you can use: Librivox, Spotify, Storyline Online, and the K12 Read Aloud Classics app.

#2 Stay on Track with a Reading Calendar

A reading calendar allows you to stay organized and plan ahead. We all know summer time can be busy and it can be extremely easy to procrastinate and fall behind.

There’s tons and tons of free, printable reading logs in a variety of formats all over the web. Browse around to find an option that best fits your family’s needs.

It’s super easy. Most of the time all it requires is the click of a button and downloading and printing a PDF. Some of the most common reading logs you’ll find are daily reading logs. Others include comment fields and many are themed with illustrations. The reading logs are usually designed for elementary levels.

Below you’ll find some easy-to-download reading logs and calendars that you can use right now!

#3 Facilitate and Organize a Book Swap