Summer reading loss is real. Did you know that the best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer? And, the best predictor of whether a child reads is whether or not he or she owns books. Further, summer reading loss or “summer setback” is a bigger problem for children from low-income families.
- Have your child read everyday. This should be a non-negotiable. Source books of interest based on conversations with your child. Having your child involved in the process will foster a sense of ownership and eagerness to partake. These are a few recommendable websites to source great books- Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com, Scholastics.com, Raz-kids.com.
- Create personal journals together. Log each day or choose an agreed upon number of times each week to log with your child. You can use two separate log sheets or the same log sheet to log as you read. You can choose to read the same book or different books. Either way you are building a solid reading relationship with your child and strong reading ethics. You can use cute composition note books from your local stores, on-line log sheets or self made log sheets. This practice will build accountability for all parties involved.
- In order to maintain interest, based on personal experience, I notice that my 9 year olds love to use their tablets to read. They find it more engaging. While the use of a tablet encourages reading, it is advisable to also use real books for reading with your child also. Come up with an agreement together. Make it fun! You can decide the number of times to use a tablet versus a real book using a kid friendly contract (self-created or from on-line). This way your child is exposed both methods of reading. And best of all parents/adults are happy and kids are happy.
- Encourage the nonfiction/ informational world. Kids love to learn new and interesting, amazing facts. Have your child read nonfiction/ informational books in an effort to maintain that nonfiction- fiction 50-50 required balance for reading. Let’s be real, I know most of us parents rarely purchase nonfiction books. My advise to you is to use online resources (Raz-kids.com, readworks.org, newsela.com), you can do a magazine subscription or borrow magazines from the library.
- Although this might be a controversial tip, I believe that providing basic rewards can boost the amount of reading a child does at home. This summer we have been using the sticker reward system for reading as well as other educational activities. And believe me it works! It’s summer kids are in play mode.
- Use community resources. This is a fun and exciting way of getting your child involved in reading and in the the community as well. Set up a schedule and visit the library at least once a week in the summer, if possible. You can join one of the local library programs. Programs may differ based on where you live. By doing this they will also learn that there are other children who are making reading a priority for summer.
- Find a favorite/ current author to study or learn about together. You can go online and search authors based on your child’s interest. This way the idea becomes more personal and engaging. Challenge yourselves to learn as much as you can about the authors you study and read as many books or pieces from their collection!
The next three tips might seem very simple, but are very powerful. Despite, their non-traditional features as a reading tip, they are engaging and fun, but by no doubt impact learning significantly.
8. Play board games that require reading and building vocabulary. When students are learning and having fun, the process becomes less stressful for everyone. Ask questions as you play with your child, have your child read the directions and explain as you play. This will enhance comprehension skills as well.
9. Cook together- this is a great way to incorporate not only reading but math, science and social studies! have your child read the recipe as you cook together. Ask questions about the ingredients and the origin of the food to extend their thinking. It is important to note that this activity can be done with familiar dishes also. Simply find the recipe online and use it to guide the process as you prepare your meal together.
10. Devotions/ family talks -for many families devotions or family talks are a consistent part of our weekly routines. There is usually some kind of reading involved. Have your child do the reading or have a special reading segment just for them. Make it a big deal and they will love it!