Series (Part 3 of 3): How To Keep Kids Reading Over The Summer

This is the last in a three part series about at summer reading programs for kids.  In this part we’ll explain how to:

Get Involved and Ask Questions

Reading is defined as the ability to attach meaning to the printed word – not just to say the words out loud.  The ability to demonstrate comprehension is crucial when implementing a summer reading program to fight “brain drain”.  The most effective way to check that your child understood the material read is through asking worthwhile questions.

Often parents defer to, “Did you like the book?” or “Who was your favorite character?”  Questions of that nature usually trigger a one or two word response from the child.  Such short answers don’t demonstrate comprehension.  Instead, prior to reading, decide what questions will be answered after reading time is completed.  Two-part questions that challenge a child to explain an answer further are more useful.  Ask instead, “Who was your favorite character and would you want to be friends with that character?  Explain why.”

Another question that helps to exercise your child’s thinking skills is, “Would you recommend this book to one of your friends?  If so, who and why?  If not, why not?”  Based on the answer you can ask follow up questions.  The purpose of the question and answer methodology is to stimulate a dialogue between you and your child.  Besides the benefits of comprehension and critical thinking it helps your child learn how to verbalize/communicate his or her thoughts.

In today’s hectic world, both parents and kids need time to take it easy.  Balancing all the demands of modern life is not always an easy task.  Reading books, sharing information, and talking together will create a special time for you and your family this summer.  All of these will lead to your child becoming an independent thinker and learner – the goal for the ultimate teachers.

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For more information on ways to help your kids improve their reading skills you can visit Elaine’s website here

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