Prioritize reading. With the exception of some math - history, science, writing, grammar are important because those subjects are reading dependent. Your child's educational success depends on their ability to read well. If they learn to read, their adult life will benefit greatly from that. While science experiments are fun and build many skills, it will not be detrimental later in life if they miss it. Skipping over reading skills, however, will be detrimental for life-long education. Therefore, prioritize it.
How to prioritize reading:
Make time for it every day and be consistent with that time.
Make books readily available. My children love animals and when I find books about sloths, octopus, bats, penguins, elephants, or dogs I jump on them. I literally get so excited when I find them that by the time I show them the treasure I found, they can hardly wait to get their hands on it. Your attitude about books matters a great deal.
In fact, it matters so much I'm going to repeat it here. Your attitude about reading matters so much that you will pass it on to your children. If they do not see you making time to read in your day, they are less likely to do the same. If you don't read, the likelihood of them reading diminishes greatly. If you don't get excited about books, they won't get excited about books. I will continue to preach this fact because the research and my own decade worth of personal experience proves it. When kids were asked, why are you reading this book? The most popular answer was, because my mom told me about it. (*While dad was the second most popular answer, it was mom's recommendation that came in as number one. Mom - your influence is huge in your child's life.)
Read everything. Go to a museum to read. Stop to read historical markers. Visit the library and see how many books you can read in an hour. Read brochures, cereal boxes, recipes, nutritional facts on the milk carton - read, read, read. Repeat this phrase, "Oh! Let's stop and read this!" After reading, talk about the new piece of information you learned. Nine times out of ten, my littles excitedly share what they learned with me too.
Trade time. How ever much time they spend on electronics is the same amount of time they spend reading. You want to watch this show or play this game for an hour? Okay, pick something to read for the same amount of time. In our home, they get Sunday afternoons for playing on the iPad and watching a movie. Saturday morning is for cartoons.our tv is never on during the week, ever We play outside, build Lego's, puzzles, games, they use their imagination with toys of their choice, and we read books. But if they do ask for extra time on electronics, trading time is the only way I compromise. And if they skip out on that reading time, I won't give them that privilege next time they ask, "remember how I told you that if you watched for an hour I expected you to read for an hour? You didn't read for that whole hour, so the answer is no this time." Be consistent when you follow through on the consequence. (Tip: make books readily available, not remotes.)
Time and consistent follow through are the most important factors for summer reading success. I hope these tips are helpful for you!
Do you have tips that help you prioritize reading in your home? I'd love to hear about them, firstname.lastname@example.org.