Does your child continually put off starting their summer reading? Does she protest that there is plenty of time and that you are being ridiculous for suggesting getting started now? Some students hate to read and will always avoid it, but even those who enjoy books sometimes resist reading in the summer. Here are some strategies you can try to help your child finish up that last minute summer reading.
These first two strategies may not be necessary for all students, but if your child has a learning disability like dyslexia or ADD that makes reading challenging and stressful, then I would recommend not making them go it alone. You can try reading the book together with your child, either by alternating reading it out loud or by reading separately and then planning time to discuss each chapter or section of the book. Discuss the main points and have your child jot them down in the book or a notebook. This will help her remember what she read and keeps her more focused and engaged while reading, as she knows she will have to come up with a few main points later on.
If your child is more independent, purchasing an audio version of the book is a great option. This way your child can follow along in their book, helping her stay focused and causing less stress. If you can’t find an audio version of the book, you can look into Learning Ally, a support system for the blind and dyslexic. The number of books, including textbooks, that are available through their site is much larger than something like audible. However, your child must have a tutor or teacher verify that they have a need for the service. If you feel this would benefit your teen, don’t let this step turn you away–the verification process is short and simple!
If your child has no academic struggles but still leaves their summer reading to the last minute, a summer reading schedule should work perfectly. Breaking large tasks into manageable chunks can put students at ease, allowing them to meet expectations, experience more success, and be happy and healthy in school and beyond. Help your child create a schedule by following these steps:
- Determine how many days your child has left to complete their summer reading. Subtract any days that you feel it will be challenging for them to read. For example, if she is going to camp or on vacation and won’t have time to read, subtract those days from the total.
- Add up the total number of pages in all the books they need to read and divide by the total number of days they have. This will give your child a clear number of pages to read each day.
- Create a set time to read. If your child has to decide every day when she is going to read, it is easier for reading to slip through the cracks.
- Even with all this in place, periodic check ins are a good idea! Touch base with your child regularly to see if they are staying on track to finish their reading on time.
Creating a schedule will make it feel easier to get started, so your teen can relax knowing that if they follow the plan, they will be prepared and ready for the first day of school. They can relax, enjoy the rest of their free time and finish their summer reading. Good luck!
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