Summer is a great time for kids and adults to do some fun reading. With long afternoons, travel lulls, and relaxing vacation days, get your elementary student hooked on a great book series! From listening to audiobooks during road trips to flipping through paperbacks on the beach, reading sparks the imaginative areas of the brain that gaming apps and television cannot access. Challenge each other by selecting and reading a series as a family and having fun conversations about character development, plot events, and situations in the books. Here’s a list of classic authors and fun series to try!
Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
Nancy Drew – Carolyn Keene
The Hardy Boys – Franklin W. Dixon
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective – Donald J. Sobol
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket
The Land of Oz – Frank L. Baum
Goosebumps – R.L. Stein
Ramona – Beverly Cleary
Reading is an essential lifelong skill that begins very early in infancy, as sounds and phonetic patterns lay the foundation of communication and interpreting meaning. Frequent and consistent reading exercises the brain, improving memory and mental cognition. Utilize these tips to improve your child’s reading skills this summer!
Read Aloud – Take turns reading aloud with your child. Even for adults, reading out loud helps to improve text comprehension and speech fluency. Another idea is to listen to audiobooks which are handy during stagnant stretches of time (e.g. in the car or waiting room).
Quality Over Quantity – Speed reading rushes the complex mental hoops that a person’s brain must jump through. Experts encourage both adults and children to read at a slow and steady pace to boost comprehension. When reading is done at a furious pace, many of its benefits (e.g. vocabulary building and meaning comprehension) are lost.
Write, Journal, Compose – Encourage your child to keep a reading journal or to simply write freely. Writing and reading go hand-in-hand and exercise the brain in similar fashions. Fostering the connections between creating words with sounds and creating meaning through words is very impactful when children are honing their reading skills. The same is true for adults.
Discussion – When reading with your child, pause for a discussion. Host a book club meeting for you and your child to talk about the characters and events of a story. Engage in a conversation about the actions a character took, situations that occurred within the book, etc. Talking about a text helps to determine reading comprehension, test memory and vocabulary, and also helps children become more equipped to engage in academic dialogue, prepping them for higher education.
Make Time – Schedule a designated reading time for you and your child each day. Lead by example and ensure that your child can see you actively reading. If you establish reading as a habit, your child’s interest and ability will increase over time.