Whether you have just a few short weeks or over a month before the next school year starts, it’s important to keep your little one reading! We’ve partnered with Young Author’s Publishing, an amazing publisher that works to bring the stories of young authors to life, for a summer giveaway. You could win all of the items mentioned above to create your own little book nook! All you need to do to enter is fill out this form.
I’ve also created a fun little acronym, READ, to guide your summer reading. Check out more details below:
Read at least 20 minutes a day
Research has shown that reading at least 20 minutes a day helps prevent the “summer slide”. The summer slide is a loss of learning during the summer months when out of school. Reading daily for this short period can help to keep those literacy skills sharp and retain the gains made over the previous school year. Most schools have summer reading lists for each grade level, so that’s a great place to start. Many public libraries also offer fun summer reading challenges, where children can win small prizes for logging books read.
Extend the story
It’s super important to go beyond the book when reading with your child. You can use the text as a launching pad to learn more about new subjects, create arts and crafts, or to come up with alternate endings. Books are a great way to expose children to new topics, but also to make connections to things they may have experienced in the past. Check out our Beyond the Book tag to see examples of how we’ve done this with some of our favorite books.
Ask questions and make predictions
Books can be used to help build strong language foundations and one of the most important things you can do when reading with a child is ask questions. Whether you are reading or if your child is an independent reader, asking questions allows the child to think critically. It also allows them to become an active participant in story reading time. We encourage you to use the illustrations to make predictions about what will happen and to ask a variety of questions. Instead of yes or no questions, ask open-ended questions to encourage longer responses, such as “What would you do if you couldn’t find your missing toy?” Additionally, you can ask the child to complete repeated story lines and to recall things that happened earlier in the book. One of my favorite techniques for asking questions comes from the dialogic reading strategy called CROWD (learn more about it here).
Discuss new words
Books are full of new vocabulary words! It’s always important to draw your child’s attention to words they may not know and to provide a child-friendly definition. As children get older, books provide them with words they’ve never encountered, as well as give them more sophisticated ways to say words they already know. For example, in Ada Twist Scientist, the word chaos is used. You could explain to your child that chaos is a fancy or more sophisticated way to say messy. Using illustrations and the text, you can build up your child’s vocabulary every time an unfamiliar word is read.