Summer outdoor play is central to a child’s development. Many experts agree that reading, however, is just as important.
According to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning, summer is the perfect time for learning and discovery. “It’s very important that children continue to practice their academic skills in summer as strong reading skills are incredibly important for all subjects in school. The more children read, the more they’ll enjoy reading, and the better readers they’re likely to become.
“The more children read, the more they’ll enjoy reading, and the better readers they’re likely to become,” says Bavaria. “There’s no better way to turn those pages than under a tree or on the beach, and kids and parents alike know that reading is one of the things that sets summer apart.”
Here are some reading tips from the brain-trust at the National Summer Learning Association and tutoring authority, Sylvan Learning.
• Be a reading role model. By spending time reading at the beach or using the lengthy directions to put the grill together, you show your child that reading is both fun and useful.
• Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it! Consistency is key to building good habits.
• Let your child make their reading choices. Let kids read whatever they want. Now is a good time to encourage reading about topics they don’t study during school to explore new interests, discover new talents or delve into old hobbies.
• Get your child to savor the book she or he is reading. Don’t rush through a book — take time to enjoy it. Have your child stop and think about plot points and characters. This will develop their analytical skills.
• Set goals and reward effort. Reward reading with more reading. Download the next book in your child’s favorite series on your tablet or Kindle. Let your child peruse library catalogues online for e-books.
• Read the book, then watch the movie. Few things make kids feel more “superior” than comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it’s based on. “That’s not the way it was in the book!” Let them explain the differences, guess why a director made those changes and then discuss which version they preferred.
• Go online for ideas. There are lots of websites for kids’ book choices.