Most children with reading disorders are reluctant to pick up a book and read. The goal for the summer months is to find your child looking at a book or reading/listening to a book when he/she hasn’t been told to go read.
Summer should be a relaxed time for children when they can read for pleasure without the pressure they experience in the classroom. It is a time to build their confidence, improve reading fluency and comprehension, and develop a love for reading.
Here are some summer strategies to help your child enjoy reading:
- Give them easy reading. Most of their reading material in the summer should be on or slightly below their grade level.
- Let them decide what they want to read (besides the required reading given to them by their school). Try different types of reading material such as comic books, magazines, joke and riddle books, recipes (and then make the recipe of their choice), newspapers, etc. Build on their interests (sports, dancing, animals, science).
- Use technology: Find software that reads books aloud, use audio books and eBooks. Please see our recent Technology Resources post for lots of great website suggestions for technology for children.
- Be a role model. You should read your book or magazine in front of them or even while they are doing their reading.
- Read with your children. Take turns reading the pages. Make sure you enjoy the book together and avoid correcting them too much. Talk about the book together and ask them open-ended questions like “What do you think is going to happen next?”
- Read to your children. Have your child pick a book that is interesting and might be too difficult for him/her. After they finish their own reading, spend 10 minutes just reading to them.
- Have older children read to their younger siblings and the younger ones read to the older children (give yourself a break from the reading time!).
- Have younger children read to their favorite stuffed animal or doll.
- Make a chart of reading time or books read and give your child weekly or biweekly rewards for reading time in the summer. The reward could be as simple as playing a game with mom or dad. Thirty extra minutes of “screen time” would probably be a big hit. My children always love a trip to Starbucks!
- Plan at least one trip to the library and have your child check out a book of their choice.
- Visit a book store and just hang out and look at different kinds of books. Let them choose one to buy. Get a special drink or treat (always a hit with my kids). You will be surprised how long you will end up staying there. You can also go to a comic book store and buy some comic books.
- If you are going on a family vacation, check out or purchase a book about your destination and read it together.
Remember reading is a challenge for them.Show empathy, but let them know reading time is not a choice.If your child refuses to read, then require 10-30 minutes (depending upon their age) of reading BEFORE any technology or other activity takes place.
More info: Technology Resources for Reading