Our Summer Learning Tips series is designed to offer families advice, tips and resources to keep students learning all summer long. Continued learning outside of school is a great way to keep young minds sharp and ready to come back to school in September.

Part one of the series covers reading and writing.

Set Daily Reading Time Throughout the Summer

Setting aside daily reading time is a simple yet powerful way to keep your child’s mind active during the summer. Aim for at least 15 minutes of reading each day. This could include bedtime stories, reading a favorite book as a family, or visiting the library together.

  • Bedtime Stories: Incorporating reading into your nightly routine is a wonderful way to end the day. Choose a book that interests your child and read it together. This not only helps improve their literacy skills but also fosters a sense of bonding and relaxation before bed.
  • Family Reading Time: Dedicate some time each day for the whole family to sit down and read. Each family member can choose their own book, and you can all read silently together. Alternatively, you could take turns reading aloud from a single book, making it a shared experience.
  • Library Visits: Make regular trips to your local library. Many libraries offer summer reading programs and activities that can make reading even more exciting for children. Let your child explore and pick out books that catch their interest. This freedom of choice can ignite a passion for reading.

Encourage your child to choose books they are interested in. This could include books about their favorite TV show or movie, sports team, or hobbies. For younger children, being read to by an adult counts! For older kids, quiet reading time can provide a much-needed break between other summer activities.

If you’re looking to take this a step further, consider creating a summer reading challenge at home.

Encourage Your Child to Keep a Summer Journal

Journaling is a fantastic way for children to express themselves, retain information, and improve their writing skills. A summer journal can be a creative outlet for your child to document their daily activities, trips, and adventures.

  • Daily Entries: Encourage your child to write about their day in their journal. They can describe what they did, who they spent time with, and how they felt. This practice helps them process their experiences and emotions.
  • Creative Writing Prompts: In addition to writing about daily activities, provide writing prompts to spark creativity. For example, ask them to write a story about an imaginary adventure, describe their favorite summer memory in detail, or write a letter to a future self. You can find many examples of writing prompts online, or create your own based on your child’s interests.
  • Illustrations and Art: Encourage your child to add drawings, photographs, or other artwork to their journal. This makes journaling even more engaging and allows them to express themselves in different ways.

If your child is interested in journaling, make it a regular part of your child’s routine. Set aside a specific time each day for them to write in their journal. This helps maintain their writing skills over the summer, ensuring they are ready to start school again in September.

Start a Book Club

Starting a book club is a great way to make reading a social activity. This can be done within your home, or with friends and neighbors. The goal is to find a small group, choose a book together, and read it over a set period. Then, hold weekly meetings to discuss the reading.

  • Choosing a Book: Select a book that interests all members of the group. Consider the age and reading level of the participants. For younger children, picture books or short chapter books work well. For older kids, consider popular middle-grade or young adult novels.
  • Discussion Meetings: Schedule weekly meetings to discuss the book. These meetings can be in-person or virtual, depending on what works best for your group. Prepare some discussion questions in advance to guide the conversation. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and opinions.
  • Activities and Themes: Make your book club meetings more engaging by incorporating activities related to the book. For example, if you’re reading a book about space, plan a stargazing night. If the book is set in a different culture, try cooking a traditional dish from that culture together.

Participating in a book club not only encourages children to read but also helps improve their comprehension and develop social and communication skills. Discussing the book with others can deepen their understanding and make reading more enjoyable. If your schedule allows for it, consider making it a family book club where parents and children read and discuss together. This can strengthen family bonds and show children that reading is a valued activity for everyone.

Keeping your child engaged in reading and writing throughout the summer is a great way to support their educational development. By setting daily reading time, encouraging journaling, and starting a book club, you can make learning fun and interactive. These activities help maintain literacy skills, foster creativity, and build a lifelong love of reading. Enjoy your summer reading adventures!