If you have young children at home, you’re probably familiar with this problem: after watching them get progressively better and better at reading over the course of the school year, once school is out for summer and they are spending their days at summer camp, their friends’ houses, or the pool, all that hard work seems to go out the window. According to some experts, children can lose up to six months of learning over the summer break.
When the weather is nice and there is so much to do, it can be hard to keep your kids inside and reading. But regular daily reading has been shown to play a huge role in increasing reading comprehension, and if you don’t want them to lose all the progress they have made in school, keeping them reading through the summer is essential.
If you want to make sure that your child’s reading ability doesn’t see any slippage — or you want to get them ready for the new reading challenges they will face in the next grade up — here are three things you can do to keep them reading through their summer holiday.
1. Join a Book Club
The best way to get your child reading is to give them a reason to. Summer book clubs are a great way to keep them interested in reading, and to give reading a social dimension. It also introduces structure and deadlines into the reading experience, making it easier to incorporate reading into daily activities.
2. Hire a Tutor
In some cases, students don’t just struggle to read regularly; they struggle to read at all. Everyone learns at a different rate, and it is normal for some children to take longer than others. But in such cases, loss of reading ability over the summer can have devastating effects.
For this reason, you may want to hire a private tutor for your kids if they are struggling with their literacy skills. A tutor will help them stay engaged in the learning process over summer, and will make sure that when they get back to school in the fall, they aren’t lagging behind their peers.
3. Model Good Reading Habits
Research has shown that the best way to get children to read is by reading yourself. Especially at younger ages, children are likely to imitate the behaviour their parents model to them, so if they see you relaxing with a book on the beach, they are much more likely to do the same.
Especially for younger children, summer can be a wondrous time, a season of exploration, adventure, and learning. While it is certainly important to give your child an opportunity to relax and enjoy a less structured kind of life, it is important to make sure that this doesn’t come at the cost of learning progress.
Fortunately by joining a book club, hiring a tutor, and reading yourself, you can make sure your child will reach the end of summer fully prepared for a new year of academic challenges.