Numerous studies have shown that children who don’t read over the summer experience learning loss, in particular, their reading abilities may stagnate or even decline. As students get older and advance in the school system, this effect becomes more noticeable. Meanwhile, the benefits of reading throughout the summer can be seen all year round!
Here’s what you can do as a parent to encourage your child to develop a love of reading:
1. Allow them to choose. Children do not get to pick their reading material during the school year, so allowing them to choose which books to read outside of school will encourage them to read for pleasure. Your local library will also have recommendation lists for age-appropriate reading.
2. Give them incentives. Offer something you know they like and want, provided they complete 30 minutes of reading. Many public libraries also give rewards and prizes for participating in a summer reading program.
3. Make it a social activity. Many children become interested in a book because their friends are reading it. Libraries and community centres have age-specific book clubs that your child can join, or you can encourage your child to start his or her own reading group with friends. The online community also has plenty to offer; children can get on Instagram or Youtube, where there’s a thriving kids and teen book community that encourages discussion on books of all genres.
4. Read with them. Many children’s and teen novels have universal themes that people of all ages can relate to. Read a book with your child and you can discuss the latest chapter over dinner!
5. Connect books with real life. Did your child read a book about undersea adventures? This is a perfect time to take them on a trip to the local aquarium! This helps to place their reading choices in a broader context and see reading as a way of learning about the world.
If your child wants a more in-depth reading program, Inspiration is offering a Novel Study program this summer as part of our Summer Camp. Reading is also a big part of our English tutoring program, which continues all year round. Contact us for more information.