Summer break is a time for students to enjoy the sunshine and relax, but it’s also a time when many young learners experience a decline in their reading skills. Research has shown that students who don’t read over the summer break can lose up to three months of reading progress, making it even harder for them to catch up when they return to school in the fall. That’s why it’s essential for parents, families, caregivers and even teachers to encourage young learners to read during the summer break. In this blog, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for motivating young learners to read over their summer holiday.
1. Create a reading list
One way to encourage young learners to read over the summer break is to create a reading list. Teachers and caregivers can work together to create a list of books that are appropriate for the student’s reading level and interests, or the young learners themselves could even create their own. This can include fiction and non-fiction books, as well as graphic novels and magazines - whatever piques their interest! Having a list of books to choose from can help young learners feel excited about reading and give them a sense of accomplishment as they work their way through the list.
2. Make reading a social activity
Reading can sometimes be seen as a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Teachers and caregivers can organize book clubs or reading groups for young learners. This can be a great way for students to discuss what they’re reading and share their thoughts and ideas. It can also help students feel more accountable for their reading progress, as they’ll have a group of peers to discuss the books with. Additionally, caregivers could sit and read with their children at home, or even have older siblings sit and read with younger ones. This is especially beneficial for younger children who may need extra support when reading.
3. Offer incentives
Sometimes, a little motivation can go a long way. Teachers and parents can offer incentives for young learners who read over the summer break. This can include rewards like stickers, bookmarks, or small prizes for reaching reading goals. For example, a student might receive a prize for reading a certain number of books or for completing a reading log. Incentives can help students stay motivated and focused on their reading goals.
4. Set daily/weekly goals
Setting a daily/weekly reading goal can help young learners stay on track with their reading over the summer break. This can be a specific amount of time, such as 20 minutes a day, 1 hour a week, or a specific number of pages or chapters. Teachers and caregivers can work with students to set achievable goals based on their reading level and interests. Daily reading goals can help students build a reading habit and keep them engaged with books throughout the summer.
5. Make reading fun
Finally, it’s important to remember that reading should be fun! Teachers and caregivers can encourage young learners to choose books that they enjoy and that spark their curiosity. Reading doesn’t have to feel like a chore or a task to be completed. Instead, it can be a way for students to explore new worlds, learn new things, build key social emotional skills, and have fun.
Don't know which books are best for your students over summer? Check out our top recommendations for books that help teach social emotional skills to young learners.
In conclusion, there are many strategies that can encourage young learners to read over the summer break. Whether it’s creating a reading list, organizing a book club, offering incentives, setting a daily/weekly reading goal, or simply making reading fun, there are plenty of ways to keep students engaged and learning with books over the summer. By promoting reading during the summer break, we can help young learners maintain their reading skills, develop a love of reading, and prepare for academic success in the years to come.