In most schools, at the end of each school year, your child completes a final reading assessment and the results are sent home to parents. This information will tell you whether your child is reading at, above or below grade level expectations. The letter or number tells you that your child can read at this level independently (without help from an adult). Once school begins again, your child’s teacher will be teaching skills at the next reading level. Summer reading is important to strengthen your child’s reading ability.
So, what can parents do to support their child’s reading growth over the long summer? The summer reading goal for parents is to help their child NOT lose ground on their child’s reading level. Research has consistently shown that readers, particularly struggling readers, lose ground over the summer. The summer learning loss is particularly greater between students from low -socioeconomic and high-socioeconomic families. A quick and easy way to maintain your child’s reading level is the ABC/123 strategy.
ABC/123 Every Day
The ABC/123 Strategy involves spending less than 5 minutes a day and ask your child 6 simple questions about what they read during their 10-minute reading each day. Using the acronym Ask, Build, Connect (ABC) parents have a quick, fun way to support your child’s reading growth.
2 Easy Steps
Ask your child 1,2, or 3 questions in each of the 3 categories (A, B, or C) listed below for a total of 6 questions daily. Feel free to ask all 6 questions in the same category, if your child is engaged in discussion. However, it is important not to eliminate the categories since each category is important for kids to think about when reading.
- Ask questions – Questioning is at the heart of comprehension. Children benefit from questions that help them focus their reading and clarify more clearly what they are reading. Ask questions about details, plot, characters, opinions. The main idea is to get them to remember or find details in their reading.
- Build Vocabulary – Vocabulary is key to reading comprehension. As children learn to read more unfamiliar texts, they must learn the meaning of new words that are not part of their oral vocabulary. Ask them to tell you words they found that were new to them. Talk about their meaning and other words that could have been used instead of the author’s choice.
- Connect with the World – Helping your child make connections with what they read helps them “think” about their reading. Ask them questions on how the story interested them or how it was like another book they read. Encourage them to also think about how the book may connect to the world. Older children will create many connections and will be more specific on details.