Encouraging Your Student to Read Over the Summer

Encouraging Your Student to Read Over the Summer - Centre for Learning at Home - Home Based Education Alberta

It may feel like fall is right around the corner, but there’s still another month of summer! If your family hasn’t read as much as you’d prefer, there’s plenty of time to start developing a love of books. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Preschoolers are at the perfect age for learning an independent love of books. Take them to the library or your local bookstore, and let them pick out a picture book or easy novel that catches their eye. Books for this age group should be high interest and directed by the child’s personal curiosity and passions.

Try to find a variety of books featuring both girl and boy protagonists. Books with named characters have also been shown to be more beneficial for small children than stories with unnamed characters—for example, a rabbit character should have a name other than Rabbit. This is because named characters help a child learn to distinguish between individuals. Instead of recognizing two female characters simply as “girls,” the child would recognize each girl as an individual, Jane and Nala, and distinguish between the two.

If you’d like support introducing your preschooler the wonderful world of reading, our early literacy program is open to all children in Alberta who will be 5 by the end of December.

Middle School kids and pre-teens are perfectly capable of reading on their own, but many kids in this age group still greatly enjoy reading along with their parents. When determining what to read next, you may want to choose some of your own favourites from your childhood. Many families also choose to introduce older books that their child may not otherwise be exposed to: Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Narnia, or The Hobbit, for example. You know your child best, so try to choose a novel that’s the right length to keep them hooked. As they get older, you can even have your student take turns reading. Learning to read aloud, with good pronunciation and an engaging intonation, is a useful skill that many people fail to master.

High School students are going to be much more self directed with their reading. However, if they are working towards diploma exams in the near future, it can be useful to provide them with the Alberta recommended reading list. This authorized list suggests many books, both fictional and non-fiction, for teens in both the -1 and -2 English streams, as well as books for elementary and junior high students.

Whether your child is a preschooler, preteen, or about to graduate, a love of reading will serve them well as they move towards their goals. At the Centre for Learning at Home, we pride ourselves on offering Albertan families the support they need to ensure their students excels to the best of their ability in both reading and writing. To learn more about how we support parents and students in their home education journey, contact the Centre for Learning at Home today!

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