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Learning at MillBridge: Tips to Motivate Summer Reading

School’s out for summer and it’s time to trade spelling tests and math quizzes for countless pool days and play dates. The break from school leaves children outside of the classroom for months—which usually causes that bedroom bookshelf to collect dust. This summer, keep your children’s minds at work by encouraging summer reading.

According to BrightHub Education, reading just five books over the summer can prevent a decline in reading retention rates and maintain overall comprehension in children in grades 2-6. Five titles is not much to ask, especially when you consider that reading makes children more prepared for their next grade level come the fall.

When school starts again, your kids will be prepared for the classroom once more! A busy mind is a healthy mind, and parents can set good examples to make children proactive about reading. Recreational reading turns an activity they may dread or just “tolerate” into a pastime they love.

Here are a few ways to highlight the fun in summer reading so that your child is getting lost in a literary adventure before bed, rather than the new iPhone app.

Visit the library
At the Public Library, at 509 S Providence St, kids can browse any genre that interests them—from action and adventure to baking fun cupcakes. Teachers assign books in the classroom during the school year and come summer, may not feel motivated to explore reading by renting a book on their own. Taking your children to the library can be a new, fun experience that not only gets them reading but teaches them the responsibility of taking out a library book.

Incentives
Who doesn’t love a reward? Whether it’s games or achievement goals, rewarding your son or daughter with something extra special once they meet reading goals can mean fun for the whole family! A trip to nearby Cane Creek Park is definitely worth reading for.

Participate in a family read-aloud night
Often, children are attempting to read above their accurate reading level for various reasons. If a child is trying to process something that is too advanced, they could become discouraged or frustrated. This can damage their self-esteem (if they find themselves defeated by an advanced book) and their progress overall. If your son or daughter is set on a book that is a little too difficult for him or her, host a family read-a-loud night where you do the reading and they reap the benefits of hearing the story!

With these tips in mind, you can build reading (and by proxy, learning!) into the day-to-day downtime of summer fun.

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