As students get ready for the end of the school year, parents and teachers can start thinking about how to get children excited to read over the summer and prevent summer learning losses for a strong start next semester. Reading fosters valuable skills like follow-through, critical thinking and imagination. Summer is the perfect time to do reading you wouldn’t necessarily get to during the school year. The organization, Reading is Fundamental, shared the following tips to motivate students to read during the summer:
1. Combine activities with books: There are a lot of great summer activities for children to participate in, whether it’s a trip to the mountains or going to the movies. Before heading out to your summer activity, have children read a book about it and have a discussion about it on your way there.
2. Visit the library: Get your child a library card and let them check multiple books out. Libraries also offer many events for children both during the summer months and the school year.
3. Lead by example: Carry a book with you and read when your waiting at the doctors office, laying out at the pool, or before bed. When students see their parents read, they often want to explore literature as well and see how fun it can be for themselves.
4. Talk it up: Discuss what you’re reading with your kids. Whether it’s a magazine or a novel, explain what you like about it, if you learned anything and what you’re thinking about reading next.
5. Help kids find time to read: There are a lot of activities for children during the summer months, and they might have such packed schedules that they are too tired for reading by the time the end of the day comes around. Remember reading is an important summer activity and save time for it in their schedule.
6. Relax the rules for summer: Make reading fun by making it feel different from reading assignments at school. Let them choose what they want to read and for however long they want to read it.
7. Have plenty of reading material around.
“The best predictor of whether a child reads is whether or not he or she owns books,” write Anne McGill-Franzen and Richard Allington in the article Bridging the Summer Reading Gap.
Make sure there is reading material around the house, whether it’s the newspaper, storybooks, magazines or informational material. For educators, set up a book lending program for the summer. If your having trouble parting with books for summer reading, let students check out old books that aren’t as popular during the school year. LifeBound’s book are the nation’s leading resource in supplemental instruction—books on Leadership, People Smarts, Critical and Creative Thinking and our new book, Dollars and Sense: How to be Smart About Money.
For tech savvy students who want on-line resources to augment their summer reading, registration is open for LifeBound’s Summer Virtual Academy. Targeted to help students prepare for a successful high school experience, this experience is good for incoming freshmen, freshmen who struggled to do well freshmen year and any one else interested in learning the basics about how to do well in high school. Students will learn time-management skills, study skills, and goal-setting strategies, among many other topics. To learn more about this summer learning experience, visitwww.lifebound.com.
References: What can families do to keep children reading during the summer? http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/what-can-families-do-to-keep-children-reading-during-the-summer.htm