Keep your child engaged with learning this summer by reading aloud together.
With schools out and all eyes on summer fun, it’s important for parents and caretakers to create opportunities for continued literacy development for children.
Many students experience learning loss over the summer, and these losses particularly affect low-income students. Studies show that summer vacation creates an average 3-month gap in reading scores between middle- and low-income children.
Reading aloud together is one easy way to stem summer learning loss. Try these seven tips from teachers to help your child or the children in your life get more out of reading.
- Reading together has no age limit - Read with kids even after they learn to read. Help them get better at reading by choosing books that are too difficult or too long for them to read alone.
- Pause and ponder - Pause your reading to talk about what is happening in the story. Ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” or make references that connect the events of the book to the children’s lives or other books they’ve read.
- Explore preferences - Once children start developing preferences in books, ask them why they prefer the genres they do and talk about other types of books available.
- Talk about the authors and illustrators - When you start a book together, look at the names of the authors and illustrators. This helps children connect to the people behind the stories and can help them find books by the same creators in the future.
- Point out new things - Pick out one or two new words or ideas in books and talk about their meaning. Talk about an example of the new concept.
- Identify parts of a story - Talk about stories using the notions of the beginning, middle, and end of the story to organize thinking and discussion.
- Have fun - The most important thing you can do to help a child become a successful reader is to share how reading is valuable and enjoyable.
At United Way of North Central Iowa, we are committed to supporting children so they learn the literacy skills that lead to success in school, work, and life. Our programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and the Community Partners we fund are working to ensure students meet critical educational milestones.