Summer is halfway over. How is your student doing on their summer reading requirements? If they haven’t started, don’t worry! It’s not too late.
The first step is to find books that will keep your child reading. I suggest visiting your local library or try a library in a neighboring town! Many children’s librarians are able to give excellent recommendations based on your child’s specific interests, especially if they are required to read books from different genres.
Local independent bookstores are another great option for getting tailored suggestions that appeal to your child. Many of these stores even have their own recommended reading lists or walls of books from which to choose.
Once you have the books, encourage your child to read for 20 minutes a day. Set up a time of day that suits them the best and find a cozy spot to become a reading nook for the remainder of summer. It is also helpful to remember to bring the current book of choice with you when traveling, or in the car as you never know when there might be down time.
If your child struggles to read on their own, read with them! Read to them, have them read to you, alternate pages or simply listed to books on tape together. Pause throughout the book to ask questions to encourage observational, memory, and analytical skills.
What do you think is going to happen next?
What was the main character’s name again?
What words would you use to describe this character?
Have you ever felt similar to this character?
What would you do differently if you were in this situation?
How might the story be different if told by another character?
What was your favorite part of the story?
Reading for 20 minutes a day has a number of benefits. Overall, reading is shown to reduce stress and improve sleep. Many studies show that reading is the single best way to improve a child’s vocabulary. Reading a variety of texts and genres can drastically improve reading comprehension and writing skills. But reading also helps children with math, since many math programs are focused more on real world word problems. Given that these are all areas covered on standardized tests, students who read regularly tend to score better on the ISEE and SSAT entrance tests. (Additionally, when interviewing, many schools will ask about recently read books).
Start now to get those reading requirements finished, but also to get your child set up for success in the upcoming school admission season and beyond.