Literacy – Grades 4 and up

Visit places where books are present. Sign up for the public library’s reading challenge or make it a routine every week to go and get new books. Book stores are great too.
Read aloud. Many home adults assume that their older kids do not want to be read aloud to, and yet, our students tell us repeatedly how much they miss it. So why not find a great book and take some time to experience the book together?
Find great books. Use the SORA app for an ever-increasing volume of online books.

Create a routine. Helping your child create a routine where reading is a natural part of the day means that they will create ownership over the habit, thus (hopefully) inspiring further reading. We encourage our students to read first thing in the morning before they get up or as the last thing they do before falling asleep. Whatever the routine may be, sit down and read yourself, it is vital for all of our children to see their home adults as readers.
Allow real choice, summer is a great time for guilt-free reading. Where we reach for those books we cannot wait to read because they will suck us right in, where we fill up our reserves so we can perhaps finally tackle that really challenging book that we have been wanting to read. Don’t worry about whether the book seems too easy or too hard, just read great books.

Allow and embrace abandoning books, but ask questions. When a child abandons a book, this is a great thing. They are learning that this book is not for them and they can use their energy for a book that will be for them. But ask questions so that they may think about what type of book they might like. Make sure that there are other books they want to read as well so that they can keep trying to find great books.

Explore new books together. Summer can be a great time to try to push your own habits of reading, as long as it doesn’t feel like a chore. Set a reading challenge, compete against each other if you want, challenge each other to read each other’s favorite books, and revel in the shared experience.
Be invested and interested. This does not mean that you ask your child to write reports about what they read, in fact, we would be very careful as to what type of work goes along with reading over the summer besides reading, but do ask questions. Ask whether they enjoy the book or not. What they plan on reading next. Read along with them or beside them. Make reading a part of your life so it can become a part of theirs.
Keep it fun. Too often, especially if our child is not a well-developed reader, we can get rather nervous as parents and think that we must keep them on a regimented reading program at all costs. That we must have them write about reading or track it somehow. Have them read, yes, but keep it light and
fun. The last thing we want to do is to make reading a worse experience for them or adding more stress to your family.
Sell summer: Tell kids to try a new product or activity and write about it. How would you describe it? Would you recommend it? Create an advertisement to sell it to others.
Play it: Take an adventure book with a clear plot (The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.) and invent a board game based on it.
Summer sleuth: Have kids follow a story in a newspaper during the summer, or investigate a local story. Tell kids: Write about the event as it unfolds so that you have it documented from start to finish.
Comic strip: Write a comic strip about a fictional character or yourself. See how long you can keep the strip going. Read classic comics for inspiration.
Reading fort/tent: Encourage your child to make a reading fort or tent and use it as their special place to read books of their choice.
Create a summer scrapbook: Save postcards and movie tickets, record family stories or interesting events from each day, whether you’re going on vacation or just going to your neighborhood park.
Journaling: Give your child a journal to encourage writing of their own choice.