Raising Summer Readers Tip #36: As we head into August, take a moment to reflect on your kids’ reading lives this summer

IMG_2996Summer is flying by — it’s hard to believe that August is actually here! Take a moment to reflect on how your kids are doing with their summer reading thus far. Consider the following questions:

  • Are your kids reading daily or almost daily?
  • Have you been to the library at least 1-2 times?
  • Do your kids have easy access to new and appealing books that interest them?
  • Are you reading aloud to your kids frequently, ideally daily?
  • Have your kids engaged in any conversations about books they are reading/listening to this summer — with you, their siblings, their friends, or an online community?
  • Are your kids doing any writing this summer — for example about books, summer activities, travel, or writing stories?
  • Is reading happening while outside the home, in the car, and on vacation?

If you can respond yes to one or several of the above questions, your kids are likely having a productive, and hopefully enjoyable, summer reading life, so help them keep it up! If all of your answers are no, it’s not too late to help your kids get on track. Consider this a mid-summer nudge to support your kids to make reading a regular and pleasurable part of the rest of their summer. To get started now, I suggest prioritizing these six tips from this “Raising Summer Readers” series:

Tip #7Make sure your kids have reading STARs – Space, Time, Access to books, and Rituals for summer reading
Tip #3Make sure your kids always have a “next book” in mind for after the current one
Tip #13: Read aloud to your kids, even if they are great readers
– Tip #14: Remember to make reading aloud interactive
Tip #29: Use summer as an opportunity to build your child’s vocabulary
Tip #35: Participate in a Reading in the Wild scavenger hunt (& encourage your kids to be “wild readers” for the rest of the summer!)

Remember, summer reading can not only prevent reading loss, but it can sustain and even improve all skills that underlie successful reading, from skills related to sounding out words and fluency to vocabulary, world knowledge, comprehension, and critical thinking. Beyond the cognitive benefits, summer is the best time to nurture your child’s love of reading and help him/her become a lifetime (not just a schooltime) reader. SO, perhaps think of July as a mini break, and try to pick things up for August! Kids can still benefit if they get going now!

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