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Summer shouldn’t mean taking a break from learning, especially reading. Studies show that most students experience a loss of reading skills over the summer months, but children who continue to read will gain skills and confidence.

Summer reading should always be enjoyable. Here are 9 summer reading tips for parents:


  1. Read aloud together with your child every day. Make it fun by reading outdoors, on the patio or park.
  1. Set a good example. Children imitate what they see. Parents must be willing to model behaviour for their children. Keep lots of reading material around the house and let your child see you reading for pleasure.
  1. Let children choose what they want to read. Don’t discourage popular fiction.
  1. Buy books on tape. Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.
  1. Take your children to the library regularly. Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Libraries are also a great source for summer reading lists.
  1. Subscribe, in your child’s name, to magazines like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children or National Geographic World.
  1. Make trips a way to encourage reading by reading aloud traffic signs, billboards etc. School age children can read a map and you can teach them how to help you navigate.
  1. Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook. Include souvenirs of your family’s summer activities, photos etc. Have your children write (or dictate) the captions.

To ward off the learning loss that many children experience over the summer, Start with a Book that offers parents and caregivers lots of engaging ideas for getting kids hooked on reading, exploring and learning all summer long — and beyond. For more great ideas and inspiration check out this website

Written by: Cheryl Fillion, Wee Watch Supervisor, Orleans, Ottawa