Benefits & Advantages of Summer Reading Programs
- Encourages life‑long reading habits
- Supports reluctant readers
- Helps children maintain their reading skills
- Stimulates interest in the library and reading
- Exercises the brain over the summer
- Increases your child's knowledge base
- Motivates children to read for fun
- Prevents summer learning loss
- Children can participate anywhere
- Provides an alternative summer activity
- Improves overall reading skills
Encouraging summer reading is a fantastic way to keep your child's mind active over the summer, promoting a positive summer activity that can be done virtually anywhere at any time.
Not only does it help children maintain their reading skills, it also helps prevent the dreaded summer slide. Known to cause a pronounced dip – or 'slide' in children's reading skills, the summer slide can best be avoided with solid a summer reading program in place.
But what does a summer reading program actually entail? And do they really help children progress faster?
Studies suggest that they do, with children who read more demonstrating better fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Summer reading programs range from simply tracking the number of minutes read per day to specific summer reading lists and even activity sheets, incentive charts, and a skills overview that follows a set curriculum.
So, if you're looking into summer reading programs, why not consider the following benefits and advantages below.
Top 11 Benefits of Summer Reading Programs
1. Encourages life‑long reading habits
Learning doesn't stop once school ends, so it's important to ensure that children continue to read beyond their school years. This can help improve their professional development as they read further to upskill in their career, in addition to increasing their capacity for empathy and building their long-term vocabulary.
2. Supports reluctant readers
Oftentimes reluctant readers need a different approach to reading that involves an activity rather than just sitting in a chair. Summer reading programs are wonderful for switching up your child's learning routine and providing a variety of activities to engage your child. This is perfect for reluctant readers, who often need something more interactive to keep them interested in reading.
For more tips on how to encourage reluctant readers, check out some handy hints here.
3. Helps children maintain their reading skills
Reading is a skill that takes regular practice, however it can be hard to keep your children reading on a regular basis over the summer months. That's why summer reading programs are a great way to maintain your child's reading skills as they provide a format and continued motivation for your child to continue reading and learning throughout the summer holidays.
4. Stimulates interest in the library and reading
The library is a wonderful safe haven for children and adults alike. Full of endless reading materials (all free!), they are also home to many children's programs and events. Summer reading programs will encourage your child to seek out new reading material, and what better place than your local library to have a look? Ask the librarian for suggestions – oftentimes libraries have a specific children's librarian on staff that will be full of helpful and interesting age‑appropriate recommendations. Plus, it's a great outing for both you and your child that could turn into a wonderful new tradition.
5. Exercises the brain over the summer
Much like exercise, kids lose some of their reading ability if they don't practice regularly, just as their bodies would lose their strength and flexibility if they stop moving. The best summer reading programs will help your child avoid summer reading loss over the school holidays. Instead they'll not only keep their skills, but help to prevent the dreaded 'summer slide'.
6. Increases your child's knowledge base
Summer reading programs will naturally encourage more reading, which provides an opportunity for your child to increase their knowledge base. Try and direct your child to seek out books on subjects that interest them such as space, athletics, or their favourite travel destination for example. As they practice their reading skills, they'll also continue to build their knowledge on a particular subject – it's a win‑win!
7. Motivates children to read for fun
Sometimes it can be hard to encourage your child to read for fun as you want it to be something that comes organically from them. A great summer reading program can help to peak your child's interest in a particular subject and encourage them to seek out books in that subject matter. They'll begin to see reading as something that they can do for fun rather than just part of a school assignment.
8. Prevents summer learning loss
The summer break is known to cause a pronounced dip or 'slide' in children's reading skills. A solid summer reading program is a fantastic way to help prevent any learning losses due to inactivity and also provide an educational activity for your children to participate in. For some more ideas on how to prevent summer learning loss, check out our top tips here.
9. Children can participate anywhere
Whether your children are reading a physical book or consuming content on a tablet, reading is a very portable activity, which is ideal for those summer holidays. So whether you're staying put at home or on the go this summer, your summer school program can travel with you.
10. Provides an alternative summer activity
Summer break can be long for parents, so it's important to have a few extra tricks up your sleeve. While sporting and outdoor camps are fantastic summer activities, it's great to balance these with an educational activity that can be done virtually anywhere such as a summer reading program.
11. Improves overall reading skills
One of the best ways to improve your children's reading skills such as reading comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency is to ensure that they are reading on a regular basis. A summer reading program can not only ensure that they maintain their reading skills, but also improve them over the course of the summer.