Within 24 to 48 hours after learning new concepts, students often begin to forget information unless it is reinforced. That’s why, during summer break, even the best students forget lessons learned during the school year. 

While a break from school is great for recharging your children’s batteries, if students aren’t using the skills they’ve acquired, they could find themselves lagging behind once the school bell rings again. If you only have time to work on one area, choose reading. Being able to read and comprehend leads to success in all subject areas. 

Here are 11 Ways To Encourage Your Child to Discover The Joy of Reading

  1. Enlist your child’s help in planning dinner, making a shopping list, and then following a recipe to make the dinner.

  2. Subscribe to a magazine for your child, research it, and choose it together. Make its arrival an event. 

  3. Read both non-fiction and fiction books and talk about the difference between a true story (non-fiction) and a made-up story (fiction). After reading a non-fiction story, ask your child why he thinks the author wrote the story.

  4. Read picture books by the same author and compare and contrast them: “How are they the same? How are they different?”.

  5. During reading, enhance comprehension by asking questions and keeping them engaged. Here are examples:

    • “What do you think will happen next”

    • “How do you think it will end?”

    • “What is your favorite part, so far? Why?”

    • “Why do you think that (character) decided to do that?”

  6. After reading a book with your child, discuss the book, asking about the characters, setting, and problems/solutions in the book.

  7. Help your child recognize how stories are like or different from their own life or your family’s life.

  8. Since comprehension is so critical to learning and understanding, read through the story without stopping to sound out words. Here’s the plan for that:

    • Before you start reading together, tell your child that you will help them with a word that is difficult so that the flow of the reading isn’t interrupted, causing a loss of comprehension. Often, they want to sound out the word but that stops the flow of the story. So, if you explain why, that helps.

    • Keep a vocabulary notebook and record the word that your child struggled with then at another time practice recognizing and reading the words. Have your child make notecards with pictures to help them remember or relate the word to something they know.

  9. Build a Personal Library 

    • From stamps, comic books, autographs, baseball cards, and stuffed animals, children have always been natural collectors. 

    • Encourage book collecting and you introduce your child to a world of resources. 

  10. Search the Internet

    • Great websites are abundant for reading ideas and leveled books. If your child is reading below level, then choose that level to encourage independent reading. If it’s too hard, then it will be a struggle and not a positive experience. If your child is an auditory learner, use auditory books that can be followed. 

      • Try Book Adventure, an interactive reading motivation program online at www.bookadventure.org or any other online reading software. 

  11. Encourage Variety 

    • Try new things such as creating a vocabulary game. Compile a word list and make a daily or weekly vocabulary game on index cards or find a program on the internet. 

    • Encourage your child to write an original story and illustrate it with personal drawings. 

    • Use every new experience to introduce words to your child; every journey, trip, or vacation can introduce new ideas and enlarge vocabulary.

Educational experts agree that the more children read, the more they'll enjoy reading, the better readers they're likely to become, and that the children who are read to at home do better in school. Encouragement is the key. Reading must be consistently presented as a positive, engaging, and rewarding activity. 

We hope you'll keep reading for nurturing positive reading experiences this summer.

Readiness for School Leads to Success: Our foundation is committed to helping the youngest and most vulnerable by partnering with agencies that provide quality education and early intervention programs. DONATE

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The Libertore Fund For Children
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