It’s almost here—Summer vacation!
Students don’t need to be in the classroom to keep learning, and summer offers many great ways for them to extend their skills.
Of all the academic skills, reading is at the core, and the relaxed days of summer offer a great opportunity to practice this vital skill. Some strategies to use with children of all ages are reading to, with and by.
Reading to your child allows them to enjoy stories and information that may be in books that are too difficult for them to read independently. You can also listen to books on tape or podcasts together. Listening to stories requires the children to create pictures and visuals and this skill is key to reading comprehension.
Reading with your children, especially if they are emerging readers, is a very effective way to help them build confidence. By taking turns reading paragraphs or pages in a book, you model how to read fluently and with expression. Then your child can practice that skill immediately after hearing what you’ve modeled.
Reading by your child is the best way to model that you value the importance of reading. Children need to see adults read books, newspapers, magazines to believe that we value the importance of reading. If they see adults who only read on a screen, then they will think that reading is about scanning headlines and reading pop-up stories.
It is also crucial for children to have time to be bored—yes, bored. Out of boredom comes creativity and practice for executive functions. Children need to imagine how they can use the resources around them to build, play and have fun. They have to plan, figure out what to do if something doesn’t work, and sustain attention for extended time.
So here’s hoping that your family has fun practicing math while cooking, being the score keeper at a bowling match, running a lemonade stand. Then send postcards to friends to get some great writing practice. And of course, read…read…read!