It’s August, and that means there’s only about a month left before school starts. How did that happen?

At this point, you might be wondering if you are doing all you need to do to get your young reader prepped for school. If you can answer YES to these five questions, then you’ll know that there is skill building going on at your house in all three buckets of skills. If not, you have a plan for what you could do over the next few weeks. Regardless of your answers, remember that there’s still time to help your child build reading skills this summer and enter the academic year feeling more confident about reading!

  1. Is your young child reading (and/or rereading) books at his level every day (and therefore building Letters & Sounds Skills)?
  2. Are you reading a chapter book (a book that is more complex) aloud to him (and therefore building Vocabulary & Knowledge and Awareness & Regulation Skills)?
  3. Are you finding opportunities to play board games together on occasion, or work on a big puzzle (and therefore building Awareness & Regulation Skills)?
  4. Are you and your child talking about books, experiences and/or ideas — with the conversation going go back and forth between you a few times (and therefore building Vocabulary & Knowledge)?
  5. Is your child doing simple chores regularly (and therefore building Awareness & Regulation Skills)?

Parents of school-aged children are often reminded that children lose ground academically because they aren’t in school throughout July and August – it’s a problem that even has a name, “the summer slide.” But we think that information can be a family motivator if it translates into a concerted effort to make sure children are building all three types of reading-related skills while going about each day.

(Note: In case your elementary-aged readers need a few new book titles to keep their eyes to print, here’s a link to one-page lists published by the American Library Association for this year.)