What is your child doing over the summer?
The habit of being a life-long learner!
Teachers know the break over summer can be a season full of learning opportunities . . . or learning losses. According to the “National Summer Learning Association” - Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading while their higher-income peers make slight gains. Most youth lose about two months of math skills in the summer.
We know the behaviors, habits and character traits that produce highly successful kids. Two of the habits at the very top of the list are “life-long learning” and the “love of reading”. It is simple – people that read are more successful. Summer is the best time to take your child’s reading to the next level. We say “If your child is not reading over the summer – what are they doing?!
Parents have found our SUMMER READING PROGRAM to be one of the most valuable features of our dojo. All athletes know that their biggest gains and improvements are made in the off season, the same rule applies to kids when it comes to reading. I think you will like some of the improvements we have made to the program this year. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you and your child excel:
This program is .Everyone is expected to participate but like everything else in life – you get what you put into it! Here is a suggestion – start out strong. Get excited about this program and send the signal to your child that this is important.
Read . This may seem hard to some but it really is not. Here is the key – just make it a small habit and use a good trigger. For example, pick something you do every day that has some quiet time before or after. Right after dinner at home. Or, right before bedtime. Or, first thing in the morning while everyone is cuddling in Mom’s bed. And, don’t worry about how much you read just that you do a little almost every day.
Keep it . Take advantage of the fact that during the school year they often have to read things they are not thrilled to read. During the summer they can read what they like. So don’t worry if they read books, magazines or comic books. Let them have fun.
Make books .Have books around the house. Have books in the car. Always have books with you. Have books that you read too.
Don’t’ underestimate the power of .Kids will read books they like. Help your child find their interest. Building their interest can help even reluctant and struggling readers.
Take advantage of .Kids love those e-readers. You can also listen to books. Put them on your iPod or listen to audiobooks in your car.
Make reading a . This last one is probably the most powerful. To make this really stick and have the whole family benefit - make reading a family culture. Kids learn by example. They best way to motivate your child to read is to read yourself! Start by saying this all the time – “Our family loves to read – we read every day!” Then turn off the TV and video games and have daily family reading time. Another tip is to have Mom or Dad read to everyone or have older siblings read to their younger siblings.
Our goal is simple and important – to make your child a better learner and reader. “Ohana Karate – Where Success is an Attitude and a Habit!”
‘Till next time!
Yours for Rock Solid (and reading) Kids,