For many children, summer vacation is the best time of the year, but abandoning academic work altogether until the fall isn’t necessarily the best option for keeping up critical learning skills.
Research has shown that summer reading assignments help children close learning gaps and retain skills through academic downtime. Many parents worry that forcing children to read during breaks will make them hate the habit even more, but being strategic about how you engage in summer reading can make the experience more pleasant for you and young learners.
How to make summer reading fun
First and foremost, choosing books children are excited to read is the best way to keep them engaged and enthusiastic about learning. Going to the bookstore or library together to pick out reading material is a great way to do this, or, if the school has assigned a reading list to choose from, you can research each option together to find the most intriguing one.
Set a routine
Consistency is key when it comes to developing a reading habit. Set aside 20 minutes per day as “reading time.” This can be before bed or after breakfast, but make it part of your everyday routine. If your child has to complete a book report after reading, consider having them jot down a summary sentence of what they’ve read after each session.
Lead by example
If you’re having trouble setting a reading routine, remember that children learn by watching adults. Consider investing in re-establishing your own reading routine and pick up your book when they open theirs.