Your kids have worked hard all year long – don’t let them lose ground over the summer!
Studies show students will actually lose reading skills over summer break if they do not read. Struggling readers are especially at risk of losing up to 3 months’ worth of progress. Over the course of multiple summers, those months add up to years. Those who read continually not only retain skills, but also have the opportunity to move ahead.
Here are a few ways to encourage summer reading:
Know your child’s reading level
For Pathway students, your child’s teacher shared the Student Snapshot and independent reading level at your last conference. If you didn’t have the benefit of learning about your child’s reading level, you can get a general idea using this simple reading assessment.
Visit your local library
Not only is checking out books a great way to save money, but librarians often have great suggestions for and knowledge of books that may interest your child. Most local libraries also have summer reading programs to incentivize reading too. It’s worth checking out.
Find books that interest your child
This is not always an easy task. For some ideas, check out the reading lists below. If you run into the issue of having an older child with a low reading level who doesn’t want to read books intended for younger readers, try some high-interest, low-level chapter books from High Noon Books.
Encourage by example
Start tackling that pile of books on your nightstand and let your kids see you reading. Have a “reading party” one night with fun snacks, comfy clothes and cozy chairs.
Read books aloud
Not only does reading aloud with your kids allow them to access books and content that otherwise may be too difficult for them, it gives you an opportunity to connect with them and have great conversations. I still remember my mom and I reading a Holocaust narrative when I was twelve and how much I looked forward to that time with her.
Keep a log
Write down the books your child reads and celebrate reaching a goal. Just tracking your child’s progress can be a visible encouragement for a struggling reader. Reading five or six books over the summer can be enough to fend off “summer reading loss.”
Explore these websites
Make “screen time” reading related. The websites listed below feature stories read aloud by a variety of readers. Although One More Story is a pay-based service, a three-month membership is reasonably priced and has a plethora of books to choose from. Hearing books being read well is essential to developing reading fluency.
Enjoy the summer months, put on some sunscreen, and read, read, read!
“More Than A Hunch: Kids Lose Learning Skills Over The Summer Months.” Research In Brief (n.d.): n. pag. Summer Learning. National Summer Learning Association. Web. 2 July 2015.
Tyson, Kimberly. “13 Ideas For How Parents Can Encourage Summer Reading.” Learning Unlimmited LLC. N.p., 17 May 2013. Web. 30 June 2015.