10 Tips to Inspire a Love of Reading Over Summer Break

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June is here, and children throughout Baltimore are looking forward to the end of the school year and their summer break. But the end of school shouldn’t mean an end to learning!

At Reading Partners, we consider summer reading a continuation of the skills students have learned and practiced during the school year. Reading and learning during the summer helps children maintain important literacy skills, boost their confidence and self-esteem, and get excited about returning to school in the fall. This time allows children to choose what they want to read, discover new favorite books, and even explore new interests based on activities they read about.

Children of all ages should read during the summer, but engaging young students in reading is especially critical to a strong literacy foundation. We’ve pulled together 10 tips to help parents and caregivers of young learners encourage reading during the summer break from school:

  • Make reading a routine. Take regular trips to the library to check out materials. Replace any recent selections with different titles or authors to vary the books your child explores.
  • Connect reading and writing. Help your child create a summer journal or scrapbook with writing prompts and pictures based on their daily activities. They can also write postcards and letters to family members sharing their summer adventures.
  • Read everything, everywhere! Use game instructions, recipes, newspapers, and other items around the house as opportunities to practice reading and vocabulary. If you’re traveling, use billboards, pamphlets, maps, even names of rides in a theme park, or menus from their favorite restaurant as openings to connect reading to “real-world” situations.
  • Create a reading space. Comfort is key when encouraging reading! Set up a space to read and store books in your home and ensure it is inviting and comfortable for your child to enjoy reading there.
  • Read books aloud. Reading with an experienced reader helps children build phonic skills and read more fluently. It encourages children, especially those who struggle with reading, to continue through challenging pieces and offers parents a chance to open up a conversation with their child about what they are reading together.
  • Talk it out. Before reading, discuss parts of the book with your child, such as the title, author, illustrator, and cover. Make predictions about the story, connect the story’s characters to your child’s experiences, and discuss what happened in the story’s beginning, middle, and end.
  • Rhyme time. For young readers, select books with rhyming words and repeated patterns to increase your child’s knowledge of rhyming words and vocabulary. Singing nursery rhymes and songs together also helps build these skills.
  • Think outside the book. Use magazines to connect reading to your child’s interests or favorite hobbies. Subscribe to magazines for children like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World, or check out editions from your public library.
  • Go online. Several websites, such as PBS Kids Reading Games, Reading Eggs, and Reading Rockets, offer great ideas and activities to encourage reading. The Smithsonian Institution’s Kids website also allows parents to visit museums with their child without leaving the house.
  • Use your community. The Enoch Pratt Library’s Summer Break Baltimore is a fun, free program for all ages that encourages literacy and learning all summer long. Many local nonprofits and community centers also offer reading challenges and chances for your child to win prizes for reading over the summer break.

 

At Reading Partners, we fundamentally believe that the ability to read transforms lives and changes outcomes for both children and communities. By focusing on reading during the summer, parents and caregivers can help reduce the impact of the “summer slide” on their students, as the loss of academic skills over the extended break from school is largely connected to a lack of reading.

To learn more about Reading Partners Baltimore and help more children become lifelong readers, visit readingpartners.org. We all have a part to play in creating a future where all children have the reading skills necessary to reach their full potential.

 

 

 

 

 

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