Summer vacation can tempt children away from books for months on end and lead them to fall victim to summer learning loss. Research shows that summer months without any learning activities can cause academic set-backs for school-age children. Summer reading is the key to avoiding this learning loss. Jenn Heckman of Sylvan Learning in Oakville says, “Summer does not have to be a time when children lose important reading skills. Parents and families can prevent this summer slide by providing engaging learning experiences and encouraging kids to read.” More than 90 percent of students from elementary through high school agree that they like reading books they choose themselves.
According to Jenn, kids benefit most when they can choose books that match their interests and reading ability and giving them a say in choosing books is what can makes reading a fun activity. To help get this summer’s reading off to a fast start, Sylvan Learning has assembled on its web site a recommended reading list of dozens of students’ favourite books to choose from, broken down by topic and age. These are the books that students themselves rated as most interesting in topic areas such as sports, adventure, education, arts, history, movies and more. Parents and students can follow these five reading tips to help those books and many others become part of a summer-long reading adventure:
- Browse your community library: Nearly all children agree that they like reading books they choose themselves. So visit your library with your child and show them how to locate the books that they want to read.
- Combine other favourite activities with reading: Do you drive your children to the pool on a regular basis? Make a stop at the library a regular part of your pool routine and check out a book, either for poolside reading or to unwind with after a day of physical activity.
- Negotiate a reward: Put a value on reading by rewarding it. Work with your child to create a reading goal, for example, reading for a certain length of time every day or reading a certain number of books. Let them choose the books and the reward so they can “earn and learn.”
- Get an e-book reader. Children love devices. With many e-book readers now available at well under $100, and e-books available at prices comparable or less than hard-copy books, it may be worth it to invest in technology that today’s digital natives prefer. Moreover, thousands of e-books either can be downloaded free or “borrowed” at no charge from local libraries.
- Use those movie-book tie-ins: When film companies base a movie on a book, they also make sure to publish a new “tie-in” edition of that book with a movie scene on the cover. Linking a book to a movie also makes your job easier. Show your Oakville Kids how they can enjoy their favourite on-screen stories by reading as well as watching.
Collaboration for this article by the teams of Sylvan Learning South Mississauga and Sylvan Learning Oakville. Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of quality tutoring to students from JK to Grade 12. Sylvan’s certified Ontario teachers provide individualized instruction and tutoring in reading, writing, math, study skills, SAT and University prep. For additional information about Sylvan’s Recommended Reading List and the FREE motivational reading program visit www.BookAdventure.com or contact Jenn Heckman of Sylvan Learning Centre, Oakville at (905) 469 6353