Kids who don’t read in the summer holidays start the new school year at a disadvantage, and the effects are long-lasting and cumulative. The ‘summer slide’ can easily be avoided by regular reading during the break, but this is easier said than done!
As most parents know, getting kids to pick up a book in the holidays can be a challenge, but these are some ways to encourage your child to read over summer:
Kids are much more likely to read if they have easy access to books, comics and magazines. One of the simplest ways to encourage reading is to make sure there are plenty of enticing reading materials around the house.
There’s not much point having a house full of wonderful books if your child is too busy rushing from one activity to the next to read them. Encourage focused reading by giving kids some down time to lose themselves in imaginary worlds.
Regular visits to the library will keep reading skills sharp over summer. Being exposed to different types of books helps children’s minds grow. Kids who visit the library in the holidays learn to see it as a welcoming and relaxing place.
An easy way to encourage reluctant readers is by talking about books. Pique your child’s interest by reading the blurbs on some books you think they’ll enjoy and asking them how they think the story will end. Curiosity may compel them to find out more.
Another great way to get kids reading is by exploring their interests. Find a subject they enjoy and get some books on it or encourage them to do online research.
This tried-and-true method is still one of the most effective. Take turns reading aloud or enjoy some audio books together during the summer break.
Summer reading programs are a fun way for kids to keep track of what they’ve read. Have a look at some online sites where kids can enroll in interactive reading programs that allow them to post reviews and chat about books.
Bookshelves are popping up in unexpected places, and there may be one near you. Kids love quirky street libraries where they can browse the titles and exchange books for free.
A simple way to encourage reading is to turn on the captioning on the TV occasionally. All forms of reading help strengthen spelling and vocabulary skills.
Make the effort to incorporate reading into as many holidays activities as possible. Kids can learn a lot from reading brochures, maps, signs and information boards at parks and zoos.
These tips will go a long way towards averting the dreaded ‘summer slide.’