Tips to sharpen your child’s reading skills

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(ARA)—The end of summer vacation may be approaching, but there is still plenty of time for youths to read a few books to refresh their reading skills before starting school.

While many grownups jump at the chance to read books and magazines on vacation, children are often quick to drop the book and run toward the waves when hitting the beach, pool or campground. While everyone reminisces about those summer days from childhood, the truth is that in this age of video games, DVD players in cars and text-messaging teens, youths are less likely to pick up a book than ever. That may come at a price.

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE—If your child hasn’t picked up a book or enough books this summer, there is still time to encourage them to do so.

According to educators, summer reading is critical in continuing good academic performance and advancing literacy skills. Studies show that children who read several books during the summer maintain or surpass the reading skills they achieved during the previous school year. James Kim, an assistant education professor at Harvard University, claims students who read four or more books over the summer do better than those who didn’t when they return to school in the fall.

Various studies show that the “summer slide,” a dip in reading and writing skills, occurs when schools let out in June, and youths leave the classroom and studies behind until September. Research from groups such as Scholastic and the National Summer Learning Association documents that skills decrease more significantly among moderate- to low-income students, and that the summer slide increases year after year for children who continue to avoid summer reading.

If your child hasn’t picked up a book or enough books this summer, there is still time to encourage them to do so. Suzanne Poole, TD Bank’s executive vice president of retail sales strategy and distribution offers these tips:

•Read stories with your child and ask questions about the stories.

•Let your child choose books about subjects in which they are interested.

•Set aside some time each day or week as reading time so it is a scheduled activity.

•Encourage your child to say words and phrases out loud.

•Practice sounding out words your child may have difficulty reading.

•Provide the word your child is struggling with so that he/she doesn’t become frustrated and lose the enjoyment of the experience.

•Offer them incentive as motivation. Not in the sense that you are bribing them to read, but showing them that hard work offers rewards.

•Have fun.

(Courtesy of ARAcontent)

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