1- Set a goal to read several high interest books over the summer. Agree on a reward for completing books -- be creative on what that reward might be. A day at the beach or the pool together is great.
2- Get going right away. Start with 5 minutes and work up to a 30-minute reading sessions. Make this a daily habit. Consider either reading with your child or utilizing audio books. Audio books are available through your local library. Audiobooks and an app called Read2go are also great resources.
3- Read the same books your child is reading, and have some real constructive conversations or discussions about them.
You may be saying this will help a little, but you need more support to make this the summer that your child makes significant gains in reading comprehension.
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Summer is a time for fun and relaxation…and a great opportunity to read! According to research, students who read during the summer months gain or maintain reading skills; however, students who do not read during the summer may fall back as much as a grade level in their skill. Therefore, we encourage students to continue improving their reading skills by reading as much as possible over the summer months.
Reading with or to your child over the summer, will help keep your child’s reading skills alive and prevent the loss of reading skills over the summer.
Tips to help support children in sustaining their reading during the summer:
Schedule 15 minutes of special time every day to read to your child. Before you read each book, read the title and look at the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child what he/she thinks the book may be about (prediction). After reading the book, review the prediction. Was the prediction right? If not, what happened instead?
Plan to go to the public library or local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. After reading each book, talk to your child about what happened at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.
Tell stories together. Talk together about your family history and perhaps, do a genealogy chart. Look at old vacation photos and discuss your memories of the trip. Tape your storytelling.
Create a print rich home environment. Include both books (and books on tape) and writing material. Include newspapers and child-oriented versions of popular magazines (e.g., Time for Kids, National Geographic for Kids). Set aside a special reading area in your home and make sure everyone uses it.
Tape record your child reading a book and replay it so that he/she can listen to himself/herself. Repeat this activity so that your child can listen to himself/herself improve.
Play Reading Tab by choosing a book with many words that your child knows. Each time you want your child to read a word, tap him/her on the shoulder.
Play rhyming games. Say two words that rhyme (e.g., cat, sat) and ask your child to say a word that rhymes with your words. Take turns. Ask you child to say a word and then you respond with a rhyming word. For example, child says “cat”, parent says “hat”; child says “chair”, parents say “pair”.
Initial sounds. Take turns thinking of two words that begin with the same sound. (e.g., mom, moon; dog, door; fun, fast; paper, pet.)
Jump rope to rhyme and rhythm. (e.g., Miss Mary Mack.)
Play games such as “Red-Light”, Green-light”, and “Simon Says” that require talking, listening and following directions, and giving directions.
Take every opportunity you can to help increase your child’s vocabulary. You can do this by pointing to things and asking your child to tell you what they are, or you can stop and explain the meaning of any words in your reading that your child may not understand. The more you talk to your child, the faster his/her vocabulary will grow.
Be a word detective. As you are riding in the car, walking down the street, or shopping in the mall or grocery store, have your child be a word detective. Look at the signs. What do you see? Look for those little words inside of big words. What patters did you see? What is the spelling rule? Have your child tell you more words that they know with the patters found in the bigger words.
Create a Scrabble game using the headlines from the newspaper. Cut out the individual letters from the headlines to create a scrabble game. Or have the child make new words with the letters from the headlines.
Fact or Opinion Game. Say a sentence to your child then ask whether it is a fact or opinion. Example: The weather is nice (opinion). A dog can bark (fact).
Newspaper. Have your child read a short editorial printed in the local newspaper and underline all the facts with a green crayon or pencil and all the opinions with a red crayon or pencil.
Clip out an interesting news story and cut the paragraphs apart. Ask your child to read the paragraphs and put them in order.
Clip pictures from newspapers or magazine. Ask your child to list adjectives to describe the pictures or tell you about the picture using descriptive words.
Encourage reading fluency by having your child read and reread familiar books. It can also be helpful to have your child read a short passage over several times while you record the time it takes. Children often enjoy seeing if they can improve their time from one reading to the next, and the repeated reading helps to establish a habit of fluent reading.