You don’t have to do what a teacher does. But you can help make sure they have something enjoyable to read. Summer reading is all about reading for pleasure. Even 10 minutes a day reading can make a big difference!
Members of your wider whānau — grandparents, aunties and uncles, and other family members — can also have a part to play. Technology makes it possible for long distance grandparents to share books through video tools such as Skype and social networking tools.
Know what your child's reading tests are at the end and beginning of the school year so you (and your child) can see how reading over summer makes a difference.
Reading at home — find out how you can motivate and support your child to read.
Let children and teens choose their reading and keep it fun
To encourage your child to read over the long summer break, take the pressure off and keep it fun. Summer reading is about reading for pleasure. Therefore it's important your child gets to choose what they read with the focus on relaxation and enjoyment.
- Easy reading is OK — getting into the reading habit, enjoying what they're reading, and finishing more books is more important than difficulty level.
- Help children choose 'just right' books. Practice the art of browsing and spotting interesting topics together.
Helping students choose books for reading pleasure
Engaging teens with reading
Avoid requirements for 'work' or 'study', such as writing book reviews. Instead, children and teens could keep a record of their reading through sites such as Goodreads, or taking note of the author/title/star rating.
Use our summer reading log (pdf, 346KB)
Provide plenty of reading material
Try a variety of formats and genres such as books, ebooks, comics, magazines and audio books.
Build your own summer library of borrowed, second-hand or new material.
My home library — tips on developing your home library by author Anne Fine.
Look at what's on offer at your public libraries
Visit the public library with children and choose plenty of books to borrow. Ask the librarian for advice about books to read.
Find out what they offer over the summer holidays, such as regular services, resources and programmes (including summer reading programmes).
Find out what how your school library could help
- See if you can take out a family membership.
- Talk to school library staff about summer holiday reading and suggestions for books to read.
- Find out if you can borrow books at the end of term or whether the school library may be open at set times during summer holidays for students and families.
School libraries — encourage summer reading
Make time for reading each day
Children and teens need to read every day to maintain skills. As well as reading, it's great to just share books, look at the pictures and to talk about what children or teens are reading.
- This might be a quiet time for children to read alone — it could be for 15 minutes, or just 3 bite-size sessions of 5 minutes a day.
- Read aloud at bedtime.
- Look at reading 'on the go' with ebooks.
- Manage how much TV, gaming and other screen time children have.
Ideas to help with reading, writing and maths — fun ideas from the Ministry of Education.