Today’s post is sponsored by Harper Collins.
When I was a kid, my brothers and I always looked forward to the summer reading program at our local library like it was the best thing in the world. We could earn a t-shirt and raffle tickets for prizes and coupons or something like that… it was SO much fun! I can even remember picking particular books- always the kind with nice covers. I loved filling up those charts with books as the summer days passed.
Now I’ve got four of my own kiddos and would definitely say reading in general and summer reading too is always a priority in our family. Our girls LOVE to read sometimes more than anything else and I’d like to think it’s because Brandon and I have put so much emphasis on the joy and fun of books over the years.
Gracie Jane is headed into mainstream 1st grade in the fall. Can you believe it?! I know so many of you have lovingly followed this little girl’s amazing journey and I really feel like this is such a huge beginning chapter to her life story. So much effort and anxiety went into every choice and decision for her education so far and it’s all brought us here. One of my huge things from the beginning with Gracie was that she really establish a strong foundation in reading.
These I Can Read! books from HarperCollins and many many more in our collection are some of her favorites to read by herself. They include level-appropriate sight words and vocabulary, characters we know and love, and stories that help kids with comprehension and understanding. The I Can Read! books are also really great for our family because they are books we can almost always sign in ASL too.
Widely recognized as the premier line of beginning readers, I Can Read! books are organized into color-coded levels. With hundreds of titles featuring award-winning authors and illustrators, and the most beloved character friends in the history of children’s literature, you can find books at every stage to engage and excite your child. Introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!
Discover more about why so many parents choose I Can Read!
and check out this YouTube trailer!
Are you a teacher or homeschool parent? Check out these printable activities, teachers guide, and 100 Tips For Beginner Readers. These materials are great “boredom busters” for those long summer days when you just need something GOOD to do!
It’s nice to know that the books Gracie already loves are helping to prepare her for first grade and the start of what we hope is a really successful transition into this school year. The more prepared she feels, the less her anxiety seems to be. That’s a win in our book!
Here are six of my favorite ways to help foster an early love of reading with your kids in your own family:
1. Always, always, always make reading the reward for reading! You can do this by helping your kiddos read to earn “book bucks” which in our family are simply dollars set aside for the book store. We LOVE walking the aisles of places like Half Price Books, Barnes and Nobles and especially our favorite local bookstores. Make up a sticker chart and help your kids earn stickers for reading. When they fill up their sticker chart the reward can be extra book time. TEN books instead of two, reading a book in the swimming pool, or reading a book with grandparents over FaceTime. When reading is the reward for reading kids can really get excited about enjoying all the good books in this world!
2. Make books accessible ALL the time. I’m really big on making sure books are always reachable and available all over the home. We display books like art. We set them up in piles and stacks. We pick sets of books to keep in bed next to us. We stash books in the car and have tote bags specifically for loading up with books. The more available you make books for kids the more likely they are to pick them up on their own and the more opportunities they’ll have to read!
3. Get your kids a cool flashlight/book light/nightlight and tuck it into bed with them. My girls think this is so cool and it’s always the exception to bedtime and lights out. They click on that flashlight and think they’re sneaking in something fun (reading!) and it just makes me the most happy Mama in the world.
4. Start a master book list. Kids LOVE lists. Start making a written list of all the books you read together. See how long the list can get! This is really fun to do on register tape. Just let the roll get longer and longer and longer. Make goals on how many books it will take to get the list to be as tall as your child or as tall as Daddy or as long as their bed!
5. Squeeze in reading whenever you can even if it’s just a moment or two for a poem or one little story. Just squeeze it in somehow! If reading is a reliable constant, your kids will grow up feeling like they can always turn to a book, that books are always there.
6. Keep reading stress free. This is especially important if you’ve got kids who are anxious or apprehensive readers or readers who get frustrated easily. Take that pressure off and just read to them in the evenings. Leave the struggle for school hours or other dedicated time. Still help your child see and feel and hear the beauty and comfort and excitement that comes from reading together.
Head over to my Instagram page for a chance to win an awesome prize pack for back to school! Can you ever really have enough books?!
Happy Monday friends!