Sum­mer skills hacks

Eight ways to keep the kids read­ing and writ­ing while they’re off from school

Richmond Hill Post - - Parent Hacks - KATHY BUCK­WORTH Kathy Buck­worth is the au­thor of six books, in­clud­ing “I Am So the Boss of You.” You could start by read­ing that book first.

“School’s out!” As the kids throw their note­books and text­books in the air, ready for a sum­mer of sun and re­lax­ation, it can be wor­ri­some for par­ents, con­cerned that their kids’ read­ing and writ­ing skills will suf­fer dur­ing the two months they are out of the class­room.

But sum­mer is a great time to in­tro­duce the fun side of play­ing with words and es­cap­ing into new worlds, through books and writ­ing.

1. Let them read (al­most) any­thing. Comic books? Awe­some. Books that are a level or two be­low where they should be? Great. Any­thing that keeps them en­gaged, read­ing and en­ter­tained. Visit the Side­kick comic book store in Les­lieville where they can pick out some new reads while you have a cup of cof­fee.

2. Have some video game ad­dicts? If you’re go­ing to al­low some time on­screen, check out games that have a big story at­tached to them, that the kids have to read, on­screen (our favourites in­clude Nintendo Puz­zle & Dragons Z, but there’s tons more to check out on www.nintendo.com).

3. Bring back the board games! Plan an out­ing to Snakes & Lat­tes and pick up a word game from the new Spot it! to old favourites like Scrabble, Boggle and any game that in­volves read­ing cards.

4. Dis­cover the fun- and fact­filled books of best­selling Toronto au­thor He­laine Becker. From in­sects to space to magic and even learn­ing how to be a spy, her books ex­cite and en­ter­tain.

5. Cur­sive writ­ing isn’t al­ways be­ing taught in school now, so find a work­book at Chap­ters Indigo or work­sheets online that you can print and the kids can do on a rainy af­ter­noon.

6. Art can in­spire writ­ing. Take the kids to the Warhol Re­vis­ited show­ing at the Re­volver Gallery on Bloor Street and have them de­scribe (in words) their favourite Andy Warhol cre­ation.

7. Buy some fun sta­tion­ary from the Pa­pery that the kids can use to write to each other, Grandma or a sib­ling at camp. You don’t have to see the let­ter; it can be their pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence.

8. Cre­ate a recipe book with their favourite foods. Work with them to find the orig­i­nal recipe, read it out and then re­write it in their own hand (or on the com­puter) for a per­son­al­ized cook­book.

Most im­por­tantly, lead or, more ap­pro­pri­ately, READ by ex­am­ple.

Let the kids catch you read­ing. Put down the phone, the tablet and turn off the lap­top and the tele­vi­sion.

If you are read­ing a book on an e-reader or tablet, to younger chil­dren it may ap­pear you’re play­ing games. Try to find real read­ing ma­te­rial that makes a vis­ual im­pact to the kids as well.

Talk about what you’re read­ing with the fam­ily and why you find it in­ter­est­ing, and they should too.

In­te­grate read­ing and writ­ing into ac­tiv­i­ties you plan for the kids

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