Ah, summer. Laughing kids, sandy toes, warm breezes, late sunsets, (hopefully) later wake-up calls, and, of course, a summer reading program.

That’s right -- if you don’t already have summer reading program on your child’s to-do list, it’s not too late! It can be easy to let education fall to the wayside during the much-awaited summer break, but it’s important to make sure your kids don’t lose steam between June and September.

Not sure how to put together a summer reading program? Our Los Angeles tutors have got you covered.

  1. Check out your child’s upcoming grade-level reading assignments. You might have already gotten a reading list from your child’s teacher for the next year, or, you might have to do a little digging online to find grade-level appropriate reading assignments. Either way, take a cue from the list of assignments your child may be given in their new class. You can purchase the books on the reading list to help your child get familiarized with the books they’ll be reading later in the year, or can offer your child comparable reading materials: same author, similar topics, same challenge level, etc. This way, you’re giving your child a head start in test preparation, reading assignments and literary preparedness for the upcoming year.

  2. Ease your child into next steps. Depending on the level your child is reading at and the grade they will be entering, summer can be an important time for helping them take steps to take their reading skills to the next level. They’re more likely to take risks (read above grade level, sound-out difficult words) in comfortable situations -- i.e. within the comfort of their home and in front of their parents. Reading at home, during summer, can offer your child a “safe place” for challenging themselves.

  3. Incorporate books into your child’s daily activities. Reading doesn’t need to be an isolated activity -- the more integrated it becomes into your child’s daily life, the more likely they are to enjoy it. Bring a book to the beach, outside during playtime or even out to dinner to entertain your kids while waiting for a table. Our Los Angeles-based tutors like to encourage parents not to present reading as a mandatory, forced activity -- instead, we hope they’ll bring books into their child’s life as a fun and entertaining activity that they should (and will!) want to do.

  4. Customize the reading experience for your child. Is your child really into bugs, princesses, technology or sports? Try to find books at their reading level (or above) on a topic that interests them. This not only provides a greater chance at entertainment and engagement, but also allows your child to feel like they have agency over the books they are given to read.

  5. Head to the library. Getting out of the house can help transform what your child compartmentalizes as their “reading space.” Visiting a library allows your child to immerse themselves in the entire culture of books, interact with other children, participate in group reading programs and more -- plus, it’s a great summertime activity!