Here are some additional tips to help keep kids reading and writing this summer:
• Enroll your child in a summer reading program at the library.
• Be a role model — let your child see how much you enjoy reading.
• Look for words everywhere, and encourage your child to practice reading in cookbooks, food labels, instruction pamphlets, comic books, joke books, magazines, etc.
• Provide daily reading time. Make sure your child’s summer isn’t so structured that he doesn’t have time to read.
• Tally and record what he reads. Have him keep a list of the book titles he reads throughout the summer. This encourages him to set and attain reading goals. To help your child synthesize what he reads, have him write a few sentences stating what character he liked best and why.
• Look for a connection between artwork and text. When your child is drawing and writing, make sure details match. If, for example, the picture has a beach umbrella, have him include it in his writing.
• Purchase special paper and writing tools to inspire embellishment.
• When reading to your child, have him act out certain scenes. When you read “Then the thunder rolled,” have him make a thunder noise. When you read “And she fell asleep,” have him act like he is sleeping. This engages your child’s imagination and makes the story come alive.
• If a movie that parallels a book is coming out in theatres, read the book, watch the movie, and then compare and contrast the two.
• Have your child write to a soldier overseas. This not only develops letter-writing skills, it also helps your child learn empathy and compassion. Go online and search for organizations that sponsor this activity.
• Have your child write a list of questions about his grandparent’s life growing up — what did he do on vacation, what clothes did he wear, what music was popular? Then, your child can interview his grandparent, record the answers, and learn a little family history.
• Create a family newsletter. Have your child write a newsletter with creative stories on what everyone in the family has been doing. Mail this out to friends and relatives whom you don’t often see.