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Five Summer Reading Tips to Boost Academics at Home or Travel

June, July and August are some of my favorite months. Life remains crazy, but life spent outdoors in the warm sunshine ranks up there as some of the best-loved time of the year for me.

This last school year was marked with challenges. I continued tutoring, but the consulting aspect of my business tanked when Covid hit and client's jobs were affected. The domino effect of mandatory shut downs was felt in our home when consulting became a commodity that people had to let go first. As a result, I went back to the classroom. Though it was full of its own challenges, it has been an amazing year. Now that I'm on summer break, this business can resume as "normal."

Ha! As normal as normal can be with two active girls and a husband on clinical rotations. His current rotation landed him in Missouri. I've been joking that I get to hang out in the Ozark sun, while he's in scrubs. Still, my mornings are set aside for tutoring and consulting, while my afternoons are for play. I only get eighteen summers with my little people, I'm going to soak that time up as much as I can. These five tips are what I'm going to employ this summer and I thought I'd begin the consulting aspect of my business by sharing them with you in hopes that they positively affect your home as it does mine.

No matter where you go or what you do, you can take these tips anywhere!

  1. Find the local library and see what they offer for summer reading challenges or activities. We are spending the next five weeks in Missouri and the local library has a Route 66 museum in it! Visiting on a rainy day is #1 on our bucket list for the summer.

  2. Create goals that offer an end reward. Let your reader choose between a set daily time limit (suggestion: begin with a minimum of 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour) or you can set a number of books to read. (Fact: a mere six chapter books was shown to produce growth in students!) Reward example: My children get $10 to shop for a book of their choice at a local book store after grabbing a treat of their choice (donut, ice cream, coffee house steamer, smoothie, etc. etc.).

  3. Set a schedule that includes reading time and be consistent with it, but also be creative. How many different and awesome places can we read our books? Local coffee shop? Park? Lakeside? Beach? Hammock?

  4. Be an example! If you expect your readers to read during that time, show them how valuable you believe reading is and read alongside them. If they see you enjoying your own books, they are more likely to mimic your example.

  5. Listen to books on your trip. If they can hear good voice inflection, higher vocabulary, and high quality story structure - it's a win, win. (Even preschool age children will gain with this activity.)

These are easy key components to a successful summer that has proven to boost reading. Don't waste this time - use it to continue academic growth. You can do it!


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