Ready, set, get reading

It was anything but a typical end to the school year for area students. And as summer gets fully underway, the backslide on learning that often occurs during vacation seems to have already gotten a head start.

One of the most effective ways for children to keep their minds sharp over the summer is by reading.

Pearson Education says evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better on reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. Reading for pleasure also bears more influence on a child’s academic performance than his or her social or economic background.

Here are ways that parents can encourage kids to start turning some pages:

Set up a reading time. Children should have a set time each day that they devote to reading. Many find a regular reading time later in the evening before bed or as a precursor to other activities, such as watching television or playing video games, can help make reading a priority.

Keep fresh reading materials. Stock the house with new books, magazines, newspapers and graphic novels. The more reading materials children have access to, the more likely they are to become habitual readers.

Pick up a book yourself. Children learn by example. Parents should read, as well. Choose books and periodicals over time spent on digital devices.

Read in the world around you. Stop and read signs, menus, cereal boxes, billboards and anything with the written word. Jot down difficult words, and look them up together and discuss the definitions.

Consult with a teacher or library staff. Educators have tools they use to assess reading levels and abilities. Knowing a child’s reading level and choosing the appropriate reading materials for that level can set kids up for success.

Recommended for you