03 Jun 2012 3 Comments
By Lisa Dalesandro/@abookmama
Author of “Raise a Reader: 25 Effective Ways to Get Kids Reading”
It’s estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of learning, with disadvantaged students being even more greatly affected losing up to three months of reading progress.
That loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. However, the good news is that reading just four books can prevent summer reading loss.
Here are 10 easy ways to help get your four books in over the summer.
Take books with you. Toss books in a bag and bring them with you everywhere you go; to the doctor’s office, on picnics, on road trips, etc. Pack books in your beach bag or picnic basket. Bring a stack on long car rides.
Visit the library and bookstores. Many local libraries and stores run summer reading programs that kids can participate in. You might also consider an online source like the http://pbskids.org/ or www.parents.com who have run great summer programs in the past.
Be a reader and writer yourself. When you spend time reading books on the beach or even directions for how to put together the grill this summer, you demonstrate to your child that reading is both fun and useful.
Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Summer day schedules are different from school day schedules so figure out the best time to plan a little reading every day. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon, or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it. Flexibility around trips and special family events is okay.
Read aloud to your kids. As school-aged children become better readers, parents often stop reading aloud to them. However, by reading more difficult books aloud to your reader, you help them learn new vocabulary words, concepts, and ways of telling stories or presenting information. It helps build vocabulary and listening comprehension skills. As you’re reading aloud, be sure to interact with your child by asking what she thinks might happen next, what a certain character is likely to do, whether the story is real or make-believe. Above all, have fun.
Connect book choices to summer activities. Get books about camping before or after a camping trip. Books on baseball before a baseball game. When you read and discuss books about things your child has experienced, you extend their understanding of their experiences.
Allow your child to choose fun books for summer reading. While it is important for your child to complete reading required by their school, it is equally important for them to read about topics that interest them, whether it is fairies, dragons, or a favorite detective series.
Don’t limit summer reading to only books. Encourage your child to read the sports page to check up on her favorite baseball team or to read children’s magazines such as Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, and American Girl Magazine.
Read a book and watch the video together. When you finish reading and viewing, discuss the similarities and differences and talk about which version you prefer. For example, read Harry Potter, then screen the video.
Encourage your child to write during the summer. From writing postcards to friends and relatives to keeping a journal while on a trip, summer presents unique ways for your child to write about their own experiences. Have your child pack a disposable camera on vacations or day trips and help them create a book about their experiences.
For more great ideas and information of reading check out the book “Raise a Reader: 25 Effective Ways to Get Kids Reading”