Help your child build good reading habits over the summer!
One of the biggest things you can do to help your child become a better reader is to help them find the same passion for reading that they have for collecting seashells, action figures, playing sports, or video games. “Wouldn’t it be nice to see your child reading a book without you having to remind them all the time?”
“Do you have to always remind them to turn off the lights at night before they go to bed?”
“Do you have to always remind them to brush their teeth in the morning? Or eat breakfast, take a shower, get dressed etc.?”
Well...I hope not. These things should be good habits that your child just does all the time without anyone having to remind them.
Of course, the point is that just like your child has good habits they do at home, they should also have lots of good READING HABITS too!
They should be working to be a more INDEPENDENT READER and a more AUTOMATIC READER. But to do this, there are some reading habits they must do ALL THE TIME! And you can help them with this over the summer.
Here are 18 ways your child can become a more independent and automatic reader broken down into 9 ways for elementary and 9 ways for middle/high school:
For Elementary Students:
Preview books, take a sneak peak to get yourself ready to read a new book.
Your child needs good habits for getting themselves unstuck as they read. They need to be more flexible with letters and sounds, particularly vowels, trying both the long and short sounds of vowels within words.
3. Set your own reading goal for the day, write it down, and break down the steps of how you can accomplish that goal by the end of the day. 4. Don’t forget it’s important to REREAD books; this will make your reading voice smoother. Decide which book you are going to REREAD today...and DO IT! 5. Readers track the words with their eyes and scoop up more words at a time. 6. When you work on fluency, don’t just focus on how fast you can read. There will be times you take off the brakes as you read or pick up the reading pace a bit. Also, make sure you are putting the right stress and intonation on certain words too. 7. Read your books with FEELING! Use drama to bring your reading to life. 8. Double-check your reading. Does it look right, sound right, and make sense? If not, don’t just keep reading...go back, try another strategy, and fix it up. 9. Don’t let hard words get in your way. Don’t give up --- try, try again.
Make honest, important reading goals for yourself. You should occasionally stop and analyze your reading and then make resolutions to change how you read in the future.
Choose texts that MATTER to you. Be PASSIONATE about whatever it is you plan to read. Make sure you have a stack of books beside you --- and these books are ones that can turn you into the reader you want to be. To find these books that are just right, you need systems that can help you find these books. Develop these systems over the summer that will carry with you into next school year.
3. Find a reading companion over the summer. This can make all the difference. Reading friendships start with people getting to know each other in a special way as readers. Pay attention to each other’s reading histories, reading interests, and reading hopes. Help each other build good reading habits this summer. 4. Get hooked on a great series! Getting hooked on a suspenseful, endearing series of books is what starts so many kids’ love of reading. Hand your teen the first book in a set and see what happens. 5. Start an online book club with some friends where you meet every week to discuss themes, characters, book reviews, and maybe even debate ideas. 6. Get into the habit of reading many different types or genres of books, such as comic books, graphic novels, magazines, audiobooks, poetry, memoir, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and so much more. 7. Identify authors that you LOVE read multiple books by that author, and reflect on how that author has given you valuable ways of looking at or coping with the world. 8. Explore lessons that the author teaches you in one book, or again and again across various books. Then connect these lessons with the issues that you see or face in everyday life. 9. Mark the parts of books that resonate with you and later jot a quick note about why that particular part of the story spoke to your own life or experience.
It’s important that your child feels revved up for their summer reading---chomping at the bit to get started----and not feel as if it’s a damper on their summer vacation. As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
DROP THOSE BAD READING HABITS and PICK UP GOOD HABITS THIS SUMMER!
Let us know in the comments how we can help your child build good reading habits at home over the summer.