Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they've learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. Try these strategies to help your reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond:
Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities. Libraries often run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so find out what's available in your area. Also check our booklists for recommendations.
Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Find them throughout the day:
- Morning: The newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today's weather.
- Daytime: Schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your daughter likes the food channel, help her look for a recipe on the network's Web site — then cook it together for more reading practice.
- Evening: End the day by having your child read to you from the book he is currently reading (one of the six books, above). Have him rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help him be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression.
Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can't, so she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase her knowledge and expand her experience with text, so that she will do better when she reads on her own.
It's hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and make reading fun!