Hooray! Summer has arrived, the sun is shining, and our children are eager to partake in all this wonderful season has to offer. Over summer break opportunities for language rich experiences are abundant as well as the good fortune to refine social relationships. We know that children, especially those with learning difficulties, can lose academic progress over the summer and therefore summer reading practice is imperative. Summer is also a perfect chance for parents to inspire the love of reading. I would like to encourage you not to impose strict rules, set reading times, and predetermined reading lists. I challenge parents to keep your children engaged, excited, competent, and ready to learn by utilizing some of these helpful tips.
- Let your children pick the books they would like to read. Take trips to the library often or head to a museum to gain inspiration.
- Don’t focus on the grade level or “age appropriateness”. If your child is excited to pick up any book. Encourage it! You can always expand on any topic with discussion or internet “research”.
- Model for your children. If you enjoy reading, they will too! Find a spot in the park or cozy up on the couch and read together. For older children, read the same book they are reading and discuss sections together or answer questions along the way.
- Real world reading practice is easy and fun. Point out road signs, billboards, decode price tags and item descriptions, and discuss menus together.
- Help your child connect to what they are reading by offering hands on exploration. For example, if your child is reading about nature, you might explore various kinds of indoor and outdoor plants at a nearby nursery or visit the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
- Have your child read along with an audiobook. This will take a certain amount of pressure away while keeping their attention and focusing on comprehension.
- Explore online reading apps that help with reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Check out this list for some ideas. 15 Apps to Support Reading Comprehension
- Create a book club with friends or host a book swap party.
- In addition, summer intervention and tutoring is available at A+ Solutions. Please consider this option if your child has more complex needs or if their literacy skills are more than one grade level behind.
I hope you will have found this list both encouraging and helpful.
Helen Wolf MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist