Summer is a great opportunity for more learning in an unconventional way. Summer school is not exactly something that many kids get excited about. However, you can get your children excited and motivated to keep learning through a summer reading program.
What is a summer reading program?
A summer reading program is simply a way to get your child to read more while on their summer break from school. There are many different kinds of summer reading programs you can follow that are created by local libraries. You can even come up with your own program that is customized for your child’s reading needs.
Most summer reading programs are based on a specific list of books that children are encouraged to read from. While this can be a good start to use for your own summer reading program, it is an even better idea to collect books for your child’s library that are specifically within their reading level but also slightly advanced. This can help them build confidence as they read throughout the summer.
What are the benefits of summer reading?
Reading, in general, has many benefits for your child. So, why not continue to encourage them to read while on summer break?
- Improve overall reading skills – When children read a lot and often, they essentially are continuously practicing reading skills and becoming better. Taking the approach of extensive reading, which is to read a lot of books for fun, helps them to become independent fluent readers.
- Practice extensive reading – As mentioned, extensive reading is reading a lot of materials just for the sake of enjoying reading. This differs from intensive reading which is reading with a purpose such as learning a certain grammar skill and might include specific activities with the reading. With all the time in the summer, your child can now actually take their time with reading and enjoy the stories.
- Improve motivation to read and learn – A summer reading program can help improve your child’s motivation by actually giving them the time to read and learn at their own pace and curiosity. Children learn best when they are invested in the content. Reading over the summer can help them find new things to become interested in that they might not be introduced to in school.
- Increase creativity and self-esteem – Being able to read at their own pace allows kids to have more time to explore ideas and accomplish reading goals easier. This can help boost their creativity as they explore ideas and books at their own pace. Also, as they finish books, they boost their self-esteem and confidence in reading.
- Help supplement summer learning loss – The summer can often feel like time loss when it comes to education. However, your children can still keep their curiosity and learning alive during the summer break through a reading program. This could also be a great way to get advanced readers to make the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. Research shows that students that participated in a summer reading program were better prepared for the new school year.
- Enhance comprehension – Once children begin mastering reading comprehension, they begin using reading as a tool to learn. By reading a lot of books and actually enjoying them, they are helping to enhance their comprehension because they are reading to understand the stories rather than for a specified learning goal.
- Boost memory – A big part of reading comprehension is memory. Being able to recall events and information in a story helps your child understand the material better. A summer reading program can help them practice recalling information from books and helps to boost their memory.
How can we get started?
With all the benefits, a summer reading program is clearly a clever way to get kids to become better readers and learners for the upcoming school year. However, what is the best way to get started at home?
There are plenty of established summer reading programs that can help guide you into creating a personalized one for your child. Scholastic and Barnes and Noble have popular programs that have been around for years. However, these programs work from a preselected list of books, so they come with some limitations.
A great way to supplement these lists, or even to create your own reading list, is to utilize a reading app. Readability is a great app to use for supplementing a summer reading list or using it as a summer reading program.
The app has a collection of custom reading materials that are constantly being updated, so your child will never run out of new adventures to start. The app is also great for enhancing reading skills because it can listen to your child read aloud and gives them instant feedback to improve. By using A.I. and speech-recognition, the app acts as a private reading tutor for your child.
Readability is also a great tool for parents to track their child’s reading progress. The app creates progress reports that you can review. Using these progress reports, you can gauge what level of reading your child is in and you can choose the appropriate books to add to their home library.
Now that your children have some time on their hands, you can get them to start reading more and for fun. The key to a successful reading program is to make sure they are reading a lot of books at their own pace and actually enjoying it. Using an app like Readability for a summer reading program is a great way to keep your kids learning even while they are not in school. Reading a lot can help children in many different ways and is a great way to keep that summer boredom at bay.