Practical tips for your state, district, classroom, or in partnership with your child's school.


Summer Reading Done Right

It is important for students to practice their reading skills when they are out of school for the summer. Keeping children engaged and reading during the summer months will have a big impact when they return to class in the fall. In this article, we look at why summer reading is important and how you can do it well. We hope you'll learn some helpful tips for increasing reading opportunities over the summer.

Three Tips for Summer Reading

  1. Build in the opportunity for daily reading. Access to books over the summer increases reading opportunities, enjoyment of books, and helps students maintain important literacy skills. Finding books that match a child's reading level and interests is also key to creating a successful reader. Your local library can be a wonderful resource for finding appropriate books. 
  2. Ask your child questions while reading. Parents can engage in a conversation with their children about books. You can ask questions before, during, and after reading. You can also point out interesting or unfamiliar words, and discuss word meanings. Talking about books, answering questions, and re-telling stories helps children develop their ability to understand language. 
  3. Practice literacy skills during everyday life. You can help your child practice speech sounds, letters, and language skills throughout the summer. When traveling, look for letters on signs you see. Find ones that have a letter in your name and say its sound. When playing at home, use toys and games to talk about how spoken words are made up of sound parts. At the library, have your child practice their language skills by telling about their interests or asking where to find the information they are seeking. 

Ideas for Reluctant or Struggling Readers

The 3 Tips above are great for all readers, but if you have a child who struggles with print or who doesn't like to read for pleasure, try one of these ideas:

  1. Use Audiobooks. Audiobooks allow children who have reading difficulties an opportunity to access more complex texts and expand vocabulary knowledge. Get an audiobook and the print or e-book so your child can follow along. Most libraries provide access to apps with free audiobooks. Check with your local library about access to Overdrive or Hoopla Digital.
  2. Start with a Book. Help your child find books and literacy activities that match their interests. This tool from Reading Rockets helps kids find fun books that can help motivate them to read more over the summer. 
  3. A.I. Story Generators. Have your child create their own story and read it to you! A.I. story generators allow children to add specific elements to a story and then the computer generates information based on that. This can create more interest and ownership of a story. Talk with your child about the story they have created and discuss ways that your child can move the story forward.

Summer Reading Resources

The Supporting Your Child's Reading Development Implementation Toolkit can help you find strategies, tips, and activities to help your child develop as a reader from preschool through adolescence.

Discover how parents and families can use everyday time together as an opportunity for learning and building reading skills with the Supporting Your Child with Reading Needs Implementation Toolkit.

Use these Reading Adventure Packs for Families from Reading Rockets to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.

Need a quick reference? Download this One Pager from Reading Partners about how to help your child read at home over the summer.


The Kid Zone!

Looking for more ways to engage your child this summer? Check out our Kid Zone! Where kids can listen, read, or play!

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