The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates, better preparation for college, and positive effects on children’s self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.
Create a reading plan with your child. Using a calendar, help your child make a schedule for summer reading. Helping your child plan ahead and stick to the schedule will help him/her avoid leaving their reading until the last few days of summer.
Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it, but also remember that flexibility around trips and special family events is OK.
Alternate required reading with your child’s own choices. Your child will be more motivated to read when he/she has the opportunity to select some of their own reading.
Read books together and discuss them. You can read aloud together by taking turns by page, or you can get two copies of the book and each read silently. In either case, tell your child what you are thinking as you read and ask your child questions about what he/she reads. By reading together, you help your child to understand what he/she reads and motivate him/her to read by demonstrating that you enjoy sharing ideas about books.
Find audio books if your child is struggling. By listening to books on tape and discussing them with you, your child will learn new vocabulary and information. If audio books are not feasible, read required books aloud to your child and discuss them together. At the same time, help your child to find books at a comfortable level so he/she gets practice reading alone.