Research tells us that simple reading practice during the summer makes a big difference in preventing the loss of reading skills.

  • To improve reading skills, children need access to books of interest that match their skill level. Again, they’ve got to read stuff that they LIKE…that they are really interested in! And it needs to be at their skill level.
  • Teach your child how to use the “Five-Finger Rule” to guide the difficulty level of their book choice.

    Have your child read about 100 words in a book and raise one finger for every word they can’t read. If they raise more than five fingers, the book is probably too hard.

  • Involvement with an adult (parent, relative, neighbor, babysitter, family friend) that can help guide the child’s reading and understanding, makes a significant and positive difference. Get someone involved with your child to help him or her read. Maybe that’s someone who is a fan of the topic your child is reading about.

    Make it a special time to get to read with someone special.

  • To improve visual processing speed and help with reading, play a game called “Needle in a Haystack.”

    Take a page from a newspaper or magazine and time your child as s/he circles all the occurrences of a specific letter, letter pattern or word. Make it a contest with a great reward for the winner!

These few things can make reading not only happen, but also be an enjoyable part of the summer.