Summer is the perfect time for kids to explore new interests, new books and the joy of reading just for FUN! Summer is also a great time to build kids’ background knowledge with hands-on activities that help them connect to what they are reading. In this blog, I will share a few ways to keep your kids reading and learning all summer long.
Tap into Your Child’s Interests
Kids have so many questions and are so curious about the world around them and how things work. Summer is the perfect time to tap into your child’s interests. It’s also a great time for you and your child to learn something new and create memories together. I encourage you to make regular visits to your local library to find books, magazines, and movies on the topic that your child is interested in. Look for both fiction and nonfiction books to get different perspectives. Ask questions as you read books together. Ask your child to summarize what they have read or tell you about their favorite part, or even a word that they thought was interesting. Keep a record of what you are reading together. This is a great way to motivate your reader to see how many books you can read before summer ends! You may even want to start a journal or create a scrapbook together to remember the books that you enjoyed.
Keep Your Struggling Reader Motivated
For some kids, reading is challenging, and therefore, the LAST thing kids want to do on a summer day. But, we all know that once the school year starts up again, reading will be unavoidable. So, why not try to help them remember what they learned in school to keep them caught up or even ahead of the other students in their class when the next school year starts? Provide your child with material that motivates them to read. Did your child struggle in history class? Do they love reading comics? There are tons of graphic novels available based on important topics in history, written in a format that your child will enjoy reading. The bonus is that they will be learning as well! Did you child struggle with following directions? Do they enjoy putting things together? Have them read books with directions on how to create various projects, like Lego. There are even books out there that teach your child how to get even better at their favorite video game like Minecraft. The key is to find a book about topics that your child is passionate about.
Build Background Knowledge
I can’t stress enough how important background knowledge is to kids and their understanding of what they read. Background knowledge is a crucial component of reading comprehension. The more a child knows about a topic, the easier it is for them to read it, understand it and remember it. So, how do you help your child build background knowledge and increase your child’s comprehension? Take your child places. Go to the park, the zoo, the aquarium, a sporting event, a historical landmark or a museum. Take your child on nature walks either around your neighborhood or to a local nature center. You can even take virtual field trips to far away places to learn more about various cultures in different parts of the world. The possibilities are endless! After you have taken your “trip”, be sure to talk about what your child saw, what they learned and have them articulate how they felt about the experience. Help them develop and support their opinions of the outing. Finally, follow up the experience with a book. This will show your child how having experiences leads to understanding.
Summer is the holy grail of the school year for most kids. It is time for kids to relax, unwind and decompress. But, summer is also the perfect time for kids to stay learning by exploring new interests through reading! I hope that you found the tips in this blog helpful and are willing to try them out with your kids. Happy reading and discovering!