Sunday 19 November, 2017
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A Fun Way to Keep Your Child Productive This Summer

BY KRISTEN MOON*

Summer break is here. So is the Atlanta heat and humidity.

If you are a parent wondering how you can help your child stay productive this summer, rest assured, I have solutions.

Before I made the transition into college admissions, I was a SAT instructor and tutor. I noticed a similarity in students who received top scores.

They were all strong readers.

Reading is one of those things you can’t cram for.

Strong readers start early and read often. Summer break is the perfect time to start a reading plan that will continue throughout the school year.

Summer Reading Programs

Summer reading programs help students address the issue of learning loss, which often occurs during the summer break as a result of being kept away from a learning environment for an extended period of time.

Below are a few well-known programs to keep your child reading all summer long.

  • The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

The B&N Summer Reading Program is designed to reinforce learning, nurture skills and motivate students to extend their reading through the summer vacation.

Participation is simple. Students pick the books they want to read and proceed at their own pace.

The best part is that students earn a FREE book, simply by following three easy steps.

1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal. The journal can be downloaded from the B&N website.

2. Bring your completed journal to any B&N store by September 5, 2017.

3. Select your FREE book.

  • The New York Times Summer Reading Contest

Since 2010, The New York Times has been encouraging teenagers to read more challenging pieces by adding the NYT to their reading lists.

They make it super easy and free for students. NYTimes.com has a digital subscription system in which readers have free access to 10 articles each month.

Throughout the summer they host an international contest, where teenagers will be competing with other students from across the globe.

The contest lasts ten weeks and it is held every Friday. This year it runs from June 16 – Aug 25.

Here’s how to participate:

1. Every Friday, the NYT will publish a student opinion question asking the same two questions: What interested you most in the NYT this week? Why?

2. Any teenager, 13 to 19 years old, from anywhere in the world can post an answer.

3. Contestants can choose from any NYT article, essay, video, or photograph published in 2017.

4. Every Tuesday, winners will be announced.

5. Winners will have their writings published on the New York Times blog. Ps, this link would be really nice to include on your college applications.

  • UGA Reading Program

The University of Georgia offers a Summer Reading Program at seventeen locations throughout Georgia. Everyone from 4-year-olds to 12th graders, college students, and adults are welcome to join.

Schedules and enrollment details can be found on their website.

Maintaining Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to fostering a strong reading foundation for your child. Make reading fun by combining it with a family activity. Family movie night is a great way to keep up the momentum with reading while having quality family time together.

Each month introduce a classic novel to your child. Set a schedule and have them read one chapter a day throughout the summer. When they finish the book, plan a movie night and bring the classics to life. Turn this into a great family time together, with popcorn, soda, and pizza. The objective is to let your child know you are proud of them for finishing the classic novel. Praise goes a long way. The point is to make it fun so that your child will keep reading.

Here are a few of my favorite classics that have been made into movies:

  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936
  • Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, 1862
  • Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813

Remember, when it comes to reading, consistency is the secret. Starting your children on a reading plan and encouraging them to read often, will lay a strong academic foundation. This will aide your child not just on the SAT/ACT, but also throughout college.

About the author:

Kristen Moon is an independent college counselor and founder of MoonPrep.com. She specializes in Ivy League, BS/MD Programs, and International Students. She works with students from 9-12th grade.

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