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Summer vacation is upon us! Remember how glorious it was to walk out of those school halls and into a summer of fun and adventure? It’s a magical season in the world of kids. But that doesn’t mean they have to put down all the books and take the summer off. In fact, a summer reading list can help your child not only avoid the “summer slide” but also get a leg up on the next academic year. You can also open new worlds of imagination.

“Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline.” -Department of Education Homeroom blog

The key is to get your child on board by getting them engaged in what they read. Let them choose. If your child wants to read comic books, get some comic books. “Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.”

How much should my child read over the summer?

Depends on your child’s age. The general recommendation from the Department of Education is 30 minutes a day. However, younger children may find that difficult. Feel free to break up the effort into more digestible portions throughout the day. Read a little in the morning, and then again before bed.

What if my child doesn’t like to read?

You’re not alone. The key is to find something your child does like, then provide materials on that subject. If your child is really into insects, find a book on insects. Or if your child is super into basketball, find a book about their favorite basketball legend.

You know what incentivizes your child to get something done. Find a reward and encourage your child to read.

Reading together is also makes a difference. If you sit down and read with your child, he or she is more likely to develop an affinity for reading. If your child is older, grab your own book and sit in the family room together, each of you reading your books. Lead by example.

Reading suggestions

Commonsensemedia.org put together what we think is a great list of classics. You’ll recognize many of these as your favorites growing up. If you want a few suggestions for some great books, click the list below:

summer reading list from commonsensemedia.org


  1. https://blog.ed.gov/2011/08/why-summer-reading-pays-off-year-round/
  2. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/summer-reading-list