Research shows that children who read fluently do better in school. It’s not just teachers who make it happen, though. Parents play a key role, too. The “summer slide” is the documented learning loss that occurs when students are out of school. Experts say that reading just five books during the summer months can help. Here are five new, easy-to-implement ideas for parents, grandparents, and guardians.
How to Be a Reading Role Model:
1) Show. Don’t tell. Let your children see you read. It doesn’t matter what you read — a book, a magazine, an online article — just as long as your children see you engaged with text.
2) Have a family game night. Playing games like Scrabble, Boggle, Pictionary, and Scattergories can teach spelling, vocabulary, and communication skills.
3) Eat dinner as a family without TV or phones. (That’s a tall order, we know!) With older kids, focus on a good conversation. Talk about what went on that day or about what’s planned for the rest of the week. For younger children, try to incorporate word games like “I spy something that rhymes with...” or “Name a synonym for...” Make dinner fun and help your children become good conversationalists!
4) Keep track of it all. Mark a calendar with the amount of time your children spend reading (and working on Istation, of course) each day. At the end of the summer, add up the hours. When school begins again, encourage your children to tell their teachers how much time they spent reading over the summer. Teachers will be thrilled and your children will feel proud!
5) Ask questions. Whether your children are reading or using electronics, engage them with questions. This will help boost their critical thinking skills while providing you with an opportunity to bond. For great questions to ask, check out the next page. Teachers will be quite happy in the fall if you implement a few of these ideas over the summer. We bet you’ll be happy with the results too!