Encourage your child to read this summer Halifax NS
Encourage your child to read this summer
By Gord Terry
(NC)-In June we heard the choruses of "no more pencils, no more books," as children rushed out of schools to start their summer holidays. They have been making friends at summer camp, swimming during the dog days of summer and playing outside. We hope they haven't left their books behind, as children should add reading to their summer adventures.
When children don't engage in educational activities for several weeks the principle of "you don't use it, you lose it" applies. According to a new Canadian study, children who don't engage in reading-related activities over the summer often experience significant learning loss (Literature review on the impact of Summer Reading Clubs).
In fact, many educators believe that children can lose up to 60 per cent of their learned skills during summer vacation. By making reading an enjoyable experience, you can help children retain their skills over the summer.
Below are 10 tips that will help keep students on the learning track and encourage your child to love reading this summer and be ready for back to school:
1. Choose books using the five finger test. Have your child open a book and read one page aloud. For every word they can't pronounce or don't know they should hold one finger up. If they put five fingers up the book is too difficult to read alone, if they do not have any fingers up the book is too easy and if they have two to four fingers up the book is appropriate.
2. Create a special reading area for your child with good lighting, pillows and books.
3. Try to make reading fun using various electronic learning aids such as the Tag Reading System from LeapFrog (www.leapfrog.ca). A portable learn-to-read system, it fits in a child's hand and interacts with books to deliver classic stories and beloved characters to instil a lifelong love of learning.
4. Read aloud with your child. Choose books that are more advanced than those they can read independently.
5. Let books your child is reading inspire day trips. For example, read Fancy Nancy at the Museum then take a trip to a nearby art gallery.
6. Enrol your children in a summer reading program, such as the 1 Million Reading Hours campaign (www.leapfrog.ca). Reading just 15 minutes each day for 30 days can create important opportunities for you and your child.
7. Cook recipes together from children's cookbooks.
8. Encourage your child to talk about the books they have read. For example, which character would they want to be or how would they change the ending?
9. Start a book club. For example, read The Little Engine That Could, then make conductor's caps, draw pictures of trains and sing songs about trains.
10. Don't force it. Sometimes let your child read books below their reading level or on unconventional topics. If needed, give simple rewards, such as a treat, stickers and verbal praise.
With so many options, parents can get their children to devote a few minutes a day to reading. Time spent reading is one of the most important factors in a child's journey toward reading fluency. The more time you set aside for your child to engage with books, the greater opportunity he or she will have to build skills and confidence. Even a small amount of time each day will be fun for them and allow them to reap the rewards when they return to school.