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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

With the school year coming to a close, it’s never too early for parents to start planning for summer reading opportunities. According to StudyDog, an online reading program for kindergarten through third grade, for many children the summer can cause learning setbacks that might take weeks or even months to overcome in the fall.

StudyDog has 11 tips for keeping summer reading fun:
Pick books on topics that interest your kids. If your kid is fascinated by dinosaurs, pick up books on the brontosaurus and velociraptors. It will keep them both entertained and reading at the same time.

After reading a book, do an activity that relates to it. This can be as simple as drawing a picture or acting out a scene with costumes. Take it a step further by visiting a place that relates to the book like the zoo if the book is about animals. Tying an activity to what was read and then talking about it can help with further comprehension.

Kids love playing on the computer. Further their reading skills by using an online system like StudyDog. The exercises are fun and adapt to specific needs for learning reading basics and beyond. Apple Computer founder Steve Wozniack called it “the best educational software I have ever seen. Period.”

Always have plenty of paper and writing supplies on hand. Practicing writing is one of the best ways to develop reading skills.

Get a magazine subscription geared toward children. It’s something they can look forward to receiving in the mail each month. Some popular titles include Highlights for Children, National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Your Big Backyard and Cricket.

Start a daily routine of spending at least 15 to 20 minutes reading. By reading each day kids will learn to look forward to that time and advance their reading skills.

Make a goal to learn one or two new words each day. Talk about the words and their meaning. Practice spelling them and using them in different sentences.

Find as many places as possible to practice reading in day-to-day life. Read things like menus, road signs and cereal boxes. Make a game out of it and be on the lookout for a certain word each day.

Get involved with your local library and the activities they offer like reading groups and story hours. Let kids have their own library card so they feel a sense of ownership in the books they check out.

Be a strong role model by spending time reading. Kids who see parents reading books, magazines and newspapers will more likely take up the activities.

Summer is one of the best times for travel. Take reading on the road by listening to audio books as you drive to your destination. Fill a bag with books and other activities for quiet times when kids are looking for something to do.

Implementing these tips will help your child continue to grow in their excitement for reading and help them be prepared for class when school begins this fall.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to read.

Image courtesy of courosa via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.