While COVID-19 has been disruptive to many aspects of our society, one of the places it is felt most strongly is in education. Because of the need to socially distance to mitigate the spread of the virus, many schools across the country have had to close for significant amounts of time. While distance learning strategies have provided students with an essential way to learn in a safe environment, unfortunately, some students are falling behind.
Known as COVID-19 slide, researchers have found that disruption to normal school routines is continuing to cause learning loss. In the case of reading, on average, a study by McKinsey & Co. found that students are a month and a half behind historical averages.
The good news is that by simply encouraging reading at home, parents can help reverse this trend. Below are a few ideas you can use today to ensure your child is where they need to be.
A Good Read
One of the most direct ways to make sure your child achieves and maintains their recommended reading level (especially at a younger age) is to read out loud to them. Not only does this improve cognitive and language development, but it also helps them expand their vocabulary.
In an article published in Healthline, Karen Gill, a doctor practicing at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco, provides a few helpful tips for parents to make the reading experience enjoyable for everyone involved:
- Practice consistency: When you make reading part of your family’s daily routine, your child will begin to view the activity as something to look forward to. Additionally, your family does not feel pressured to always read a different book each time. Kids love hearing their favorite stories multiple times, and this repetition also benefits their learning.
- Take your time: Gill recommends not trying to rush the reading experience. If the process feels rushed, then it is easy for kids to develop the idea that reading is a chore or something that they have to do. By allocating an adequate amount of time to read, you can help your child understand this is an activity that deserves their full attention.
- Have fun: One of Gill’s best suggestions is to embrace your inner thespian. Try using different voices for characters in the story, make use of dramatic pauses and don’t be afraid to express yourself. Not only will your child find this entertaining, but it will also help with their reading comprehension.
- Make connections: When children apply what’s going in a story with their own lives, it not only makes a reading experience more meaningful, but it can also help them understand and cope with different day-to-day experiences. Gill suggests pointing out positive traits the main character in a story might have (bravery, loyalty, kindness) and giving examples of how your child has acted in a similar way.
Looking for some book recommendations? Check out some of our favorite books that help children celebrate diversity in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
Support Reading and Writing Skills at Camp Invention
At Camp Invention®, the flagship education program from the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), not only are children introduced to STEM concepts in accessible ways, but with unique Inventor Logs provided with each activity, they also have the opportunity to practice their reading and writing skills.
In these Inventor Logs, children read stories and advice from our NIHF Inductees and develop their ability to analyze, comprehend and evaluate information. Additionally, they are encouraged to record their observations and jot down ideas related to their specific inventions. Throughout the week, they transform these notes into pitch presentations, which they deliver in a supportive and safe environment.
Reserve Your Spot Today
Camp Invention is equally fun in both at-home and in-person settings. Plus, you have the freedom to sign up now and switch your format choice up to six weeks before your program start date with our Peace of Mind Promise.
Reserve your spot today and save $25 off your registration by using the promo code WEB25 during checkout.