9 Summer Reading Ideas & Tips | Sidestep the Summer Slide
By: Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom
Summer slide may mean a trip to the water park to your kids, but teachers know it as the loss of skills that comes from those long weeks away from school. The first installment of my summer slide prevention tips focuses on 9 suggestions for reinforcing skills in reading!
Read, Read, Read!
Hands down, the best way to improve reading skills is to actually read. Luckily, words are all around us and there are many, many ways to keep your kids reading all summer long.
- Make trips to the library a weekly event. Be sure and check your local library’s calendar for fun events. Many libraries offer much more than the traditional story times.
- Summer is a great time explore an area of interest that may have gotten pushed to the side during the busy school year. Is your child interested in dinosaurs? Cooking? Space? Whatever the interest, get some books on the topic and check out the internet. If the text is too difficult for your child’s reading level, read it together.
- Start a family book sharing time when everyone (parents too!) shares a little about whatever they are reading. This would work well once or twice a week over dinner.
- Consider reading the same book as your child so you can discuss it together. Here is a set of Reading Response Question Cards you can use to keep your discussions interesting.
- Set a goal for number of books or pages read with a fun reward at the end. Often schools or libraries have these kinds of programs in place, but you can also make your own.
- Read wherever you go. Ask your kids to read signs and billboards when you are driving, package labels in the store, and menu items in restaurants.
- Reluctant readers may find a book less overwhelming if you partner read. Partner reading just means that you take turns reading a paragraph or page out loud.
- Another strategy for reluctant readers is to find a high-interest book and read the first few chapters out loud. The idea is to get your child so interested in the story that she is compelled to finish the book or her own.
- Instead of watching videos on long car or airplane trips, have your kids listen to audio books. You can even purchase a splitter headphone jack so they can listen to the same story. Better yet, choose a story the whole family can enjoy and listen together.
One final thought: to build reading fluency, quantity beats quality. Don’t worry about making sure your kids read “good” books, just make sure they are reading, even if it is comics!
Rachel Lynette has written over 100 nonfiction books for children. She is also the author Minds in Bloom, a blog focused on facilitating creative and critical thinking, and a top seller on Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can find more great teaching resources.
Stay tuned for more creative ideas and tips
for helping kids Sidestep the Summer Slide!