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It's close to the end of the school year for my household and we are already gearing up for all the summer activities. For most parents and children, there is a shift in routine. It becomes a challenge whether you are figuring out how to balance the hustle of taking your child to sports camps, band camps, additional educational classes, livestock shows, and/or games. There are benefits for the change in routine but, taking a break from school doesn't mean to forget about challenging your brain. Encouraging reading is a great way to keep your child on track with academics. According to an article by Marlene Gunlach, "Summer Reading Statistics; Is Summer Brain Drain a Reality?" states, "reading just 4-5 books during the summer can prevent a decline in a child's fall reading scores." Research shows that reading loss is cumulative. Teachers spend 4-6 weeks re-teaching material that students have lost during the summer. So, here are some tips to keep the positive momentum going so that your child doesn't get behind:

  • Join a Book Reading Club. Most of the time your public library has a summer reading program. Sometimes even your school has a program set up prior to summer break.
  • Be creative and encourage your child to research vacation locations. If you know where you plan to go on vacation have your child look for suggested sightseeing stops. This is a wonderful way to have your child invested in the trip.
  • Help with the meal preparation. Having your child read the recipe and sharing the responsibility can build relationships.
  • Select magazines, books, or newspapers of interest. Having the reading material available prior to the break will help keep you and your child on track.
  • Read driving direction out loud. If you are traveling and your child is in the car have he/she read the directions from your phone or map. This also helps prepare your child is being prepared with understanding how to read signs, and distance when they are old enough to drive.
  • Take pictures and write an article when you have a family reunion. Several families have their reunions during the summer. Volunteering to write the article for the newspaper benefits your child as well.

Again, it great to take a break but, it is more important to have a balance so, your child doesn't fall behind.