by Colleen Cook, Librarian, and Caroline Hopewell, Early Literacy Director
Reading doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many ways to encourage your child to read more often by making it fun and motivating. Here are some summer reading tips to help keep your child motivated.
- Lead by example: You read, they read, we all read.
- Regular trips to the library: Let your child spend as much or as little time as they want picking out books to take home. Let your child pick out books that pique his or her interest.
- Record progress: Showcasing progress helps reinforce good habits and keeps your child motivated to continue reading. Even just a tally mark on the back of a bookmark works
- Read everything, everywhere: Have your child read billboards, signs, menus etc.. If you go on a trip to the park or pool, have children be responsible for reading park and pool signs, rules and anything else that they see!
Mrs. Cook says “Educators consider summer reading very important in developing life-long reading habits, in maintaining literacy skills and in promoting reading for pleasure. Studies have repeatedly shown that children who continue to read during the summer months perform better when school resumes in the fall.”
What if my child is still a developing reader?
Mrs. Hopewell has a few ways to grow your child’s reading over the summer based on Ehri’s Simple View of Reading.
This approach says:
Word Decoding x Language Comprehension = Reading Comprehension and Fluency
For students that are still learning their foundational skills, it’s important to keep them reading decodable texts. Decodable books are designed for emerging readers to practice their phonetic skills with the intention of developing their orthographic mapping, which is an important part of how children become fluent readers. Another tool, if you’re so inclined, that supports these foundational skills, is Lexia Core5. Younger students have used this program in school as part of their academic program this year. This program is available for use through July 31st.
Language comprehension is equally important in growing fluent readers. The best way to support your student’s language comprehension is by reading books to them that engage their imagination and pique their interest. Having a “family book” is a wonderful way to both celebrate learning and create family literary traditions. Listening to audio books is also a wonderful way to enjoy a long car ride and increase language comprehension.
In order for students to comprehend well, they must be able to engage their imagination and create pictures in their mind’s eye. Too much screen time influences a child’s ability to create their own images when reading or listening to literature. Without this pictorial capacity, reading comprehension is not possible. I’m not suggesting you never share a fun movie with the family, but it’s important to understand that over exposure to media can alter your student’s ability to create their own images.