If your child is in second through sixth grade and knows all of his or phonics sounds but is not a “fluent reader”—for our purposes here, a child who can read books that are expected at his school at his grade level, you would be surprised the little things that you can do to help your student. In the next few days, I will give tips concerning this scenario.
Kids Reading This Summer--Just Do It!
Do not underestimate the power of simply reading. If your student is a reluctant or struggling reader, but can read, I recommend that you implement a daily silent reading time for your student.* (Actually, I recommend this for everybody—kids and adults, struggling or not!) There are many ways to implement this:
1. Go to the library and pull a series that your child will enjoy. (I will give some suggestions in days to come, but ask your friends what their kids are reading, ask your librarian for suggestions of books in areas that interest your child, etc.)
2. Consider a 15 to 30 minute silent reading time each day during the summer (or each non-vacation, weekday). You could set this up as a certain time that everybody reads or just make a declaration that everybody must read for fifteen minutes before other activities outside the home (i.e. swimming, friends, etc.).
3. Create a reading chart with squares that are worth fifteen minutes each. So many squares equal prizes or so many squares must be colored in per week. (More on creating your own summer reading program for your kids in upcoming posts.)
4. Get your child a series of chapter books that he or she will enjoy reading and have him or her read a book a week at his own pace and on his own timetable—as long as it is read by Friday at five or whatever the deadline might be.
5. Consider alternative reading materials, like comic books, magazines, books with individual stories in each chapter (as opposed to books in which one story is broken up into chapters), etc. if your child is extremely reluctant.
6. Do not make each reading a “lesson.” Discuss his reading, if desired, but the purpose of this is to get him reading—not necessarily to do reading lessons.
*See readability posts from earlier this summer for help in choosing materials at your child’s reading level.