Posted on July 12, 2017 by CHS
The school year is over and children are excited about the summer. While summer vacation should be a fun break for children, it is important that they continue to have opportunities to learn. Multiple studies show that students who don’t read, or don’t read enough, during summer break experience a decline in their reading abilities. One way to avoid this is to encourage children to read daily during summer break. According to Why Summer Reading Pays Off Year-Round, an article from Homeroom, “children who have parents that read to them five to seven nights a week do exceptionally better in school and are more likely to read for fun throughout the rest of their school careers.” It may seem difficult for families with limited financial resources to afford summer reading programs for their child, but there are many free programs available. With the help of involved parents, children can make reading into a fun habit and grow to read independently as they get older.
You can help promote summer reading for children by sharing this blog or this information sheet, Why Summer Reading Program Matters, provided by the California Library Association, with your family and friends. Your child can also stay connected with your community through a variety of free summer reading programs offered by public libraries and other organizations like Barnes and Noble, Chuck E Cheese, and more. Visit your local libraries to learn about summer reading programs that may be offered in your community.
To help your child continue reading during summer, here are some tips.
- Go to the local library and allow your child to choose the books he likes. Libraries have an abundance of books for children of all ages. You may also ask the librarian for suggestions on which books might be good for your child’s educational level. To pick the correct level, you may use the Five Finger Rule; have your child read the first page of the book that was chosen. While reading, you can have him count on his fingers how many words he is unfamiliar with. If the count goes past 5, then that book may be too difficult for him.
- Encourage your child to read at least 30 minutes every day from a book of her choosing. She will be more interested in a book that she chooses herself. For example, if your child loves animals, look for books that are focused on animals.
- If your child is unenthusiastic about reading, try providing an incentive. These incentives can include outdoor playtime, having a meal at a restaurant, exploring a city, television or movie time, and much more. It is also important not to use negative incentives like money. Using money as an incentive may teach children that reading is a chore, rather than a fun activity.
- Similar to weekly family time where you get together to have family activities, find some time of the day to read as a family in the living room. Each member of the family can choose a book and read on their own, or everyone can read the same book together with each member taking turns reading aloud.
- With the advancement of technology, children are becoming more tech-savvy. You can help connect their love of technology with reading by giving them an educational app or e-book on their computer, smartphone, or tablet to keep them engaged in reading.
- Bring books or audiobooks wherever you go. You and your child can read during downtime or during a drive. You can listen to audiobooks together while driving. Audiobooks are great alternatives that are similar to reading aloud. Choose books or audiobooks that are fun and exciting as it will make the drive go by a lot faster.
Reading is an essential skill that is crucial for your child’s success in life. By preventing summer reading losses with summer reading activities, your child can start the next school year prepared and ready to learn.
Here are additional resources to understand more about summer reading:
- Book Lists, Videos, and Information about Language, Literacy, and Learning http://www.readingrockets.org/audience/parents
- Bilingual Resources about Language, Literacy, and Learning http://www.colorincolorado.org/node/27/
- Information and Free Audiobooks http://www.reachoutandread.org/resource-center/