1. Read! Read! Read!
Research shows that children who read frequently (or are read to frequently) tend to be better readers. For starters, consider setting up a personal reading incentive program with your own or neighborhood children. Don’t wait for schools to initiate this, you can build in your own rewards such as a trip to a favorite restaurant, ice cream shop or special family outing when each child meets their personal goal.
2. Start a journal
Encourage children of all ages to keep a special journal they have decorated and encourage them to write frequently about summer experiences, personally meaningful topics, expressing their feelings or even writing messages to parents who can respond to them in the journals….this is a great way to build reading AND writing skills.
3. Investigate academic opportunities in your local community
Often public libraries offer engaging summertime activities that can reinforce reading, writing and math skills. Local school districts may also offer summertime camp or community fun activities that include classes and field trips that can be educational and academically enriching. Your local community newspaper can be a good resource for available summer programs and events for children.
4. Take your child on “field trips.”
A trip to the museum, local library, or even outdoor recreation park can be a great springboard to discussion on science, social studies or provide topics for later research for reading or writing.
5. Prepare for the summer
Prepare for the summer by finding out particularly challenging academic areas for your child by touching base with their teacher before the end of the school year. Typical recommended areas include building reading vocabulary and fluency, practice in basic math facts (addition/subtraction, multiplication/division) as well as improving writing skills. Ask for recommendations for continuing to develop these skills over the summer or even a summer reading list.
Author: April Adams, Academic Chair, Teacher Education, with Kaplan University’s School of Graduate Education.