On the other hand, being away from the routine of school can be tricky for kids and families. It can also be a time when kids can fall even further behind their classmates. Parents feel a lot of pressure to help their kids maintain their skills over the summer, while at the same time really wanting to enjoy this precious time together.
Luckily, we’ve gathered together the ultimate summer guide for parents in Nova Scotia. Below are the best tips from the experts, along with simple activities that won’t break the bank.
Tried, Tested and True Tips
1.Start a Summer Routine Right Away.
Don’t wait until after the summer starts to put a plan in place, but build a summer routine that involves some of the activities below. Sadly, the summer will be over before you know it, and practice should take place little by little, not all at once at the end of the summer.
2. Read Together & Talk About It.
Kids don’t need to just read a lot of materials in the summer, they need to talk and ask questions about the things they read. Reading comprehension is dramatically improved when language comprehension and word recognition are a part of the reading experience. This means ensuring your child has background knowledge on the topic they are exploring and exposure to new vocabulary. Click here to view Scarborough's Reading Rope, a ground breaking infographic that simplifies the information above and also highlights the importance of phonological awareness, decoding and sight recognition.
3. Make It Fun.
No one likes doing something that they think they’re bad at. Start at an appropriate level, support kids when they need some help and provide immediate incentives and rewards for attempts, progress and commitment. Rewards don't need to be costly and sugary junk. Let your developing reader:
- Plan the next family outing.
- Choose the music for your next road trip.
- Stay up a little past bedtime.
- Have a bestie come for a sleepover!
If this seems like an impossible task ask for help. We offer a free initial assessment and consultation with no obligation to enroll in our programs and with over 20 years of experience you'll be sure to leave with a better understanding of reading development and path towards skilled, confident, reading.
DIY At-home Reading Activities
1. Online Resources
Below is a list of online resources we recommend exploring to learn more about the science of reading, advocacy for effective reading instruction, resources, tips and tools you can use at home or when communicating with your child's classroom teacher in the upcoming school year. We encourage you to learn about the state of reading instruction today, the history of the "Reading Wars" and what these advocates have to say about structured literacy programs like SpellRead!
- Dr. Erin Schryer | Member of panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research
- Nancy Young | Author of the Ladder of Reading
- Everyone Reads Nova Scotia | Parent led group of volunteers advocating for Dyslexia in Nova Scotia.
- Reading Rockets | Resources for struggling readers.
2. Halifax Learning's Summer Reading Recommendations
If a child is reading, does it matter what they're reading? The answer is complicated.
We want to keep things fun while at the same time building knowledge from high-quality texts. There’s time to read fun and easy books, but try to balance them with books that are a bit more challenging or involve something new.
Don’t wait for pre-primary to read books with your kids! There’s a cool variety of books for you to share with little kids to get them excited about reading routines.
“The Adventures of Captain Underpants” series by Dav Pilkey
“Clementine” series by Sara Pennypacker
"A to Z Mystery" series by Ron Roy
"Cam Jansen Mystery" series by David A. Adler
"WeirDo" series by Ahn Do
"Super Happy Party Bears" series by Marcie Colleen
"Anna, Banana" series by Anica Mrose Rissi
"The Questioneers" series by Andrea Beaty
3. Take it Outside!
There is lots of learning that can happen outside! Take advantage of sunny days to visit these parks from our friends at Raising Haligonians and while you're there take a peek at our Ask the Expert Blog - How to know when your child needs more help with Reading and Literacy.
4. Nova Scotia Resources and Programs
Halifax libraries offer this program every summer. Sign up starting June 15 so your kids can earn points, win prizes, and have fun. Realizing that learning takes place with more than just reading, kids can earn points from things like playing games and telling jokes.
See spiders and walk with Gus at the Natural History Museum.
Of course, Halifax Learning are the experts in reading so if you’re looking for a big boost in reading skills, you’ve come to the right place. Enrollment is happening now both for classes and for weekly camps. Click the button below to register for our unique summer camp that balances education and exploration or click here to find out more.