Summer is the time of year when parents wonder if and how they can include activities for their children that will help close any achievement gaps in the upcoming school year. Summer enrichment, camps, and tutoring programs can all cross parents’ minds at some point or another. Improving literacy has been supported as a key for giving a strong foundation for academic success and improving student achievement. However, increasing literacy skills in reading and writing don’t necessarily mean children have to feel like they are in school during the summer. Don’t panic. Supporting your child’s literacy over the summer doesn’t have to be costly or stressful. We offer three easy suggestions for increasing literacy skills in the summer that are fun!
Read for pleasure
During the hectic school year, it can be easy for children to not making reading for pleasure a priority. However, summer is the perfect time to encourage kids to dive into a good book on vacations, road trips, lazy days at the park, inside during summer showers, and when relaxing before bed. Need ideas? Here are some K-12 summer reading lists. Publisher’s Weekly has a 2019 reading guide for picture books, middle grades, and young adults. The Association for Library Service for Children has their own summer reading list. Going on vacation? National Geographic curated a list of vacation and travel-themed reads for children!
Make writing a part of summer exploration
Getting children to read and write at home show benefits for improving future academic success and improved executive functioning skills. There are multiple opportunities for writing in the summertime that can be fun including journaling, travel scrapbooking, thank you notes, letters to relatives, and creative writing. Make sure the content of the writing is meaningful for the child. Making children write aimless reports or essays for the sake of practicing writing skills is an easy way to turn them away from writing in the summertime. Take a cue from this Express Yourself lesson plan making journaling an independent and free thinking activity. For those visually creative children, here are some tips on Scrapbooking 101.
Visit local educational tourist spots
Taking a trip to a local educational attraction is the perfect opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a topic and inadvertently learn. Museums, aquariums, historic monuments, battlefields, and nature trails all have opportunities to read and engage. These learning opportunities expands every child’s prior knowledge of the world which in turn helps solidify their literacy skills.
We hope you are having a great start to summer and are using the time to enrich your lives through fun and literacy!