Summer is right around the corner!  The long, lazy days of the season offer kids lots of opportunities to discover new interests, new books and the pure pleasure of reading for fun.  Summer is also a great time for hands-on explorations that connect kids to what they’re reading — which helps build background knowledge and ensures that children are ready for the challenges of the new school year.  Engaging in reading opportunities helps prevent the Summer Slide – when kids forget some of what they’ve learned or slip out of practice during the summer months.

Try these strategies to help your reader beat the Summer Slide and improve reading skills:

  1. 6 books to summer success:Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, make sure they are high interest texts that are chosen by your child.
  2. Take advantage of the King County Library system: click HERE for more information. Ask for help selecting books that match your child’s age, interests, and abilities. Libraries often run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so find out what’s available in your area.
  3. Read something every day:Check out this 2017 Summer Book List for recommendations.  Take a trip to the library,, or your local bookstore and look for one of these great titles! Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Reading doesn’t always have to be a book!  When you COOK with a recipe, you read.  When you DRIVE, you read. When you follow WRITTEN DIRECTIONS, or learn HOW TO do something in writing, you read.  When you go SHOPPING, you read.
  4. Keep reading aloud:Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can’t, so they will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase their knowledge and expand their experience with text, which fosters independence!
  5. Participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! From June-September, help motivate and excite your reader with a FREE online program from Scholastic.  Kids can log the minutes they spend reading, play games, earn virtual rewards and enter sweepstakes!  Click HERE to register and enter.

It’s hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and keep reading fun!