Summer holidays are here! Make our Summer Reading Club a part of how your child relaxes and unwinds this summer after a challenging year. Summer Reading Clubs are a great way for children to maintain their literacy skills over the summer months and helps them return to school feeling confident and curious.
Start by coming into any Marion Library branch from Saturday 2 January, 2021 to collect your Summer Reading Club booklet. Then follow some of these tips to keep your kids reading through the summer.
How can parents support their children’s literacy development?
• Let your child choose their own books: There is now considerable evidence that children who choose their own books learn to enjoy reading much more. Be open-minded. It’s okay if your child prefers farting dogs and gaming magazines over the classics or comics over chapter books. The skills they develop reading about exploding boogers will support them as they grow and mature. Don’t be daunted if you’re child wants to read above their reading level. It’s wonderful that they’re so ambitious! Try taking turns reading chapters and chat about what’s happening in the book.
• Be encouraging: Like most of us, children love a compliment! Praise your child’s efforts and their achievements. It's okay if your child’s reading isn’t ‘perfect’ or they forget words. A great idea is to give them strategies for making sense of stories by asking questions such as: “What would make sense here?”, “Let’s look at the pictures for clues,” or “Let’s read on and see what happens.” These strategies will help your child become an independent reader.
• Read every day: Make reading part of your daily routine. This might be before bedtime, after lunch or part of quiet time. When reading to younger or reluctant readers, ask them questions about the pictures and the story. What do they think will happen next? Did they like the book? How could it be different? Encourage them to read the story back to you and praise their efforts. For older or independent readers, chat to them about what they're reading and tell them about your favourite books too. Children who see their parents reading for pleasure are far more likely to read themselves.
• Make it fun: Help your child build positive associations around reading and not see it simply as a task they have to complete. Visit the library and find books linked to their interests. Whether it’s dinosaurs, LEGO, video games or cooking, our libraries will have something relevant. Get out and about with your books! Read at the park, the beach, the pool or the backyard. Use some old cushions or blankets to make a reading cubby at home.
• Encourage your child to become a writer: Whether it’s a summer journal, postcards to friends or their very own blockbuster, encouraging your child to write is a great way to support their literacy. Non-fiction buffs could write a presentation on aliens or a cookbook with the most revolting recipes they can think of. Budding historians might want to reflect on their experiences of 2020 – a truly historic year. Encourage young artists to write and illustrate a comic.
Get advice from some of Australia’s most beloved children’s writers.
StoryBox is a database that features some of Australia’s most loved authors, musicians, actors and artists reading a wide selection of picture books.
Libby is the free library app that allows you to access eBooks. Libby has popular junior series such as Geronimo Stilton, Go Girl!, Dirty Bertie and Dork Diaries as well as award winning YA (young adult) from authors including John Marsden, Cath Crowley and Isabelle Carmody. eBooks can be great for reluctant readers, allowing them to customise their reading experience and select books without being judged.
Good Reading Hub for Booklovers is an excellent resource that has sections dedicated to children and YA titles. It features loads of book reviews, articles, interviews and podcasts. It’s the perfect place to discover something new!
Who Next…A Guide to Children’s Authors is a site that allows you to browse by name, age group, genre, prizes, countries and more. It’s also an excellent space to find titles for dyslexic readers.
Britannica Library is perfect for non-fiction buffs. It includes encyclopaedia articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, atlas, dictionary and more!
These sites are great for exploring with your child.
Inside a Dog: Australian site dedicated to young adult titles, both fiction and non-fiction. Reviews written by kids themselves.
Reading Rockets: A US-based literacy organisation with great tips and research.
Kids Book Review: An Australian site dedicated to children’s fictions. Featuring reviews, booklists, education and literacy articles and interviews with authors.
LoveReading4Kids: Jam-packed with excellent reading suggestions for kids of all ages.
Children’s Books Daily: Another great Australian site with reviews, expert advice, reading resources and booklists.
These are great for car trips and chill out time at home.
One More Page: Australian podcast for lovers of children’s books. Get to know Australian authors, browse reviews, news, interviews. Covers picture books – year 9. Great for parents and kids!
StoryKids (Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation): Famous Australians read stories written by children and talk to children afterwards about how they wrote their stories and where they get their ideas from.
Middle Grade Mavens: An Australia book review podcast that also explores all aspects of children’s publishing – interviewing illustrators, editors, authors and more. A great one for bookish kids who would love to be writers one day.
Story Seeds Podcast: Kids team up with children’s authors to develop their story ideas.