During the summer, many children lose skills gained during the school year. This is often referred to as “summer learning loss”. The problem many parents face during the summer is their kids’ reluctance to read during their “holiday”. Forcing a child to read a book can be daunting for both the parent and the child. To help lessen the struggle and help children progress in their reading skill during the hot summer months, they need the right tools and an abundant amount of creativity and encouragement.
Here are a few basic summer reading tips to help children enjoy reading during the summer break:
- Be a good reading role model: Our kids love copying our habits. If we are modeling independent reading at home, they will at least try it once or twice. If they never see us pick up a book and read, they will probably not try it on their own. An extra motivational method is reading out loud parts of your book and making general comments about how interesting the story is getting or how it makes you feel. Having a fun discussion about a book with other adults in front of children can also show kids that reading can be something fun they discuss with others.
- Let technology become your teaching aid: Instead of constantly trying to limit the use of technology, try to find applications and programs that encourage your child to read. Start by trying out different reading applications with your child and make sure to choose what suits them best. I Read Arabic app has a rich library of hundreds of award-winning books of all genres combined with a gamified experience that kids love. Kids love games and rewards regardless of the task, so use that to get them excited about reading through the app. This is especially helpful during the summer when kids are always out and during transition times. Children can read during car rides, at the park, at the beach, or while waiting for an appointment.
- Mix in reading during daily activities: This method helps kids actually read without feeling like they are “reading a book”. Simply ask your child to read things like the back of a cereal box in the morning or a recipe as part of a cooking activity you do with them. Other simple examples can be reading the signs during a road trip or an instruction manual for home appliances, or reading a brochure about a place to which the family may travel during the summer.
- Kids love popular book series: Summer reading is always easier when the book is “popular” or the characters are talked about amongst kids at school. Harry Potter books filled my kids’ lives last summer and it was the easiest way to get them to read, especially if it is a series. You can get recommendations from your kids and their friends or their school teacher.
- Tap into your children’s own interests and imaginations: Look for reading materials that relate to interests that your child enjoys, such as football, gymnastics, gadgets, or nature. Anything your child wants to learn about and peaks their interest can be learned through reading a book or a magazine. Initiate this reading process by purchasing a book about something they love and encourage them to read it or to answer any questions they have about this topic.
It is a sad truth that most areas of learning can be affected by the summer slide, but reading skills are important to maintain as they are the foundation of success in every other school subject.
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