Parent College Coach Tip #118: Encourage Summer Reading

Encouraging reading, especially summer reading, is one of the most important things you can do for your child. The research is clear. Read on for some ideas:

summer reading

The National Literacy Trust did the research. They found that becoming a lifetime reader is based on developing a deep love of reading.

“Research has repeatedly shown that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if pupils’ attitudes towards reading become less positive,” it said. “If children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older.”

But if a student doesn’t see people reading at home, it may be harder to instill the idea of reading for pleasure. One of the best activities to encourage over the summer is reading. Reading improves vocabulary—a key component on standardized tests.

What can parents do to encourage summer reading?

Get involved

Discuss what books you are reading and why they interest you. Talk about blogs or articles that you have read.  Use these discussions to spark interest. Do this over dinner as you encourage everyone at the table to get involved in the discussion.

Foster escape

Reading offers escape from the challenges of life. It allows students to become engrossed as a form of self-indulgent relaxation. As a result, seeing reading as a pleasurable activity and a means of escape moves it from the “have to” category of tasks to the “want to” column. Futhermore, summer offers them the time to immerse themselves in all types of books and reading that interest them.

Encourage varied interest

It makes sense that a student will be more willing to read if it’s something that interests them. Allow your student to have control of venturing from one book to another, one area of interest to another, and one medium to another. Introduce them to a wide variety of texts and genres—comics, ebooks, short stories, online articles, blogs, and magazines shouldn’t be ignored.

Because of this, parents who read foster reading interest in their children. It’s not enough to say, “Go read a book”. Even if the child submits to the request, if they don’t enjoy reading, they aren’t going to absorb what they read and want to read more. Therefore, readers are more successful in school and in life. It’s one of the ways students grow mentally and intellectually.

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