Research shows we all tend to learn more slowly in the summer than in the winter months. Some students actually go into reverse and lose some of the reading skills they gained during the school year. This can be especially concerning (and discouraging) for kids already struggling with a learning difference. Because, literacy experts suggest that summer reading actually improves kids' reading ability, here are just a few creative ways to prevent the "summer slide" and even keep yourself reading!
1. Read aloud together with your child every day.
Make it fun by reading outdoors on the front steps, patio, at the beach or park. Also, let your children read to you. For younger children, point out the relationship between words and sounds.
2. Set a good example!Parents must be willing to model behavior for their children.
Keep lots of reading material around the house. Turn off the TV and have each person read his or her book, including mom and dad.
3. Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it.
This is the way to develop habits of the mind and build capacity for thought and insight.
4. Let kids choose what they want to read, and don't turn your nose up at popular fiction.
It will only discourage the reading habit.
5. Buy books on tape, especially for a child with a learning difference.
Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.
6. Take your children to the library regularly.
Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.
7. When traveling or just running errands, read traffic signs and billboards aloud.
Show your children how to read a map, and once you are on the road, let them take turns being the navigator.
8. Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook.
Tape in souvenirs of your family's summer activities picture postcards, ticket stubs, photos. Have your children write the captions and read them and read them aloud as you look at the book together.