Q: My children have summer reading that they are required (by their school) to do. They have a couple of different books to read and then questions to answer. It is quite a bit of work, and they are not interested in doing the reading or the work! The summer work counts as a test grade and I don’t want them to begin the year off with a poor grade and I don’t want them to wait until the last few days of summer to complete the work. Any helpful suggestions?
A: I must say I can’t blame your children for not wanting to do the required summer work. Everyone needs time to re-energize. And required reading and question answering doesn’t really sound like a child’s idea of summer re-energizing!
But it must be done.
It may be best to break down the assignments into more manageable chunks and then assign dates for completion to each chunk. Make sure your child writes these achievement goals on their calendar. Sometimes seeing a goal written makes it more likely to achieve. Incorporate a summer assignment progress update into your summer morning meetings as another way to help keep your child on track.
Many books are available in audio or downloadable formats. For some children (auditory learners especially) presenting material in these types of formats makes required reading tolerable! They can even follow along in a hard copy of the book or read some and then listen to some. Having a hard copy available will make it easier when your child needs to search the text for answers to the required questions.
Hopefully your child knows to read ALL of the questions before beginning the reading. If not, tell them! The questions tell the reader what to look for in the assigned reading. This is especially helpful for a child who struggles with reading comprehension. And any child who is forced to read of book not of their choosing during the months of summer is bound to let their minds wander a bit, which effects reading comprehension.
And can you blame them?! It is summer after all.