A Fun Way to Get Your Child to Read More and Love it!
Summer is underway and I definitely feel the heat here in Hotlanta. This week we are expecting to reach a cool 99F. While it might be difficult to find things to do outside to keep cool, it’s a great time to set up a reading schedule that can be continued throughout the school year.
Our previous blog post highlighted a few great summer reading programs that are worth a try. It’s not too late to get started.
If you missed it, check out the post: Summer Reading Programs: Ready, Set, Go!
The Many Benefits of Reading
At Moon Prep we begin working with students as early as 8th grade. At this age, it is important to set a strong academic foundation. I put all of my students on a reading schedule. The classics are a great starting point. They might contain a lot of Greek and Latin words, but these words help your child build up his/her vocabulary. Did you know that 60% of all English words have Greek/Latin roots? Classic novels stimulate the brain in a way that mind-numbing programs on TV or meaningless articles on Buzzfeed never could. Reading has been proven to improve one’s intelligence – what it does is expose readers to whole new worlds and possibilities, and this builds an understanding of other cultures and concepts.
Summer ReadingSummer Reading
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
With reading, it’s important to maintain consistency. How many times have you bought a new book and began reading it then never finished? I recommend at least 1 hour of reading per day and to maintain consistency by reading the same time every day until it becomes like second nature. Build the reading into your daily schedule. Try to encourage your child to read for 1 hour before bedtime every night. It’s a great way to unwind and calm yourself before sleep.
Strong Readers Score Higher on the SAT
Being a SAT instructor/tutor for 12+ years has led me to firmly believe that strong readers score higher on the SAT. It is a lot easier to study and raise your score on the math section than it is for the reading section. Becoming a strong reader takes time and consistency. Starting to read young and reading often will not only help on standardized testing but also help throughout college and future employment. It has lifelong benefits. It is not enough to be competitive – your child needs to stay ahead of the competition and a simple task like reading regularly will give them an edge. The more your child reads, the better he/she becomes at it. David Beckham didn’t become a great soccer player overnight, it took him years and years of soccer practice to become a legend.
Presenting the Moon Prep Book Challenge
A fun activity I encourage families to try is for the student to read 1 classic novel a month and when they are finished plan a family movie night to watch the movie version together. Each month select a new classic novel that has a movie version. This aids the learning process by associating visual imagery with what he/she has just read. It’s important to make it fun for the student. Let them pick out what food to order in, such as pizza or Chinese, and make it a quality family time that the whole family looks forward to. Also, let the student know how proud you are of them for finishing such a difficult novel. Simple words of encouragement go a long way. Make the movie night all about them.
Below are my top 5 classics made into movies. They are a great starting point to kick off the Moon Prep Book Challenge.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
It takes a peek into how millionaires lived their life on Long Island in the 1920’s. The 2013 movie stars Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead.
Leo + my hometown of LI – you can’t go wrong!
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936
A rich girl finds herself in dire circumstances and does what she can to escape a life of poverty. The movie is one of the most popular ones of all time.
Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, 1862
Originally a French novel, it tells you how life was in 19th-century France. Several celluloid adaptations have been made, and Anne Hathaway stars in the latest 2012 movie.
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848
It takes a satirical look at 19th-century English society, and Reese Witherspoon stars in the 2004 movie, although there have been earlier film adaptations as well.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813
It takes a look at how a woman was supposed to behave in English society during the 19th-century. There is also a 2005 movie by the same name.