6 Benefits of Summer Reading Programs

Benefits of summer reading programs are well documented. In fact, summer reading programs have been around for more than a century, and they continue on because of their great benefits. Summer reading programs come in all shapes and sizes from online reading and answering questions to reading library books, to 4-hour per day programs, to online-delivery family participation programs that build family time fun activities into the program.

The 6 Benefits of Summer Reading Programs

  • Improve Reading Skills
  • Increase Desire to Read
  • Improve Self-Esteem
  • Neutralize Summer Learning Loss
  • Improve Comprehension
  • Improve Memory Skills

Overall, summer reading programs really do improve kids’ reading skills and increase their desire to read. Additionally, according to the School Library Journal, those who participate not only mitigate any summer learning loss, but they even show gains. Most kids develop an interest in reading, improve their comprehension, and further develop their memory skills. Reading content material even becomes more interesting.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for the Best Benefits of Summer Reading Program

Are the five tenets of reading included?

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Is the Summer Reading Program Flexible?

  • Can you work the summer reading program on your time frame or are you tied to specific times of day?
  • Do you need to travel to the program?
  • Does the program offer a variety of reading activities including games or is it just reading and answering questions?
  • Is the program labor intensive?

Is the program based on your child’s reading level or on their grade level?

  • If your child is above grade level, can you start them there, or do they need to do their grade level activities?
  • If your child is below grade level or way below grade level, can you start them at their current level and level up from there?

Bonnie Terry’s Summer Reading Program allows kids to be kids and gives them the foundational skills in a holistic approach. This online-delivered program is one where families work together and play together as they improve their reading skills not just in school, but in life.

Learn more about Bonnie Terry’s Summer Reading Program.

Who is Bonnie Terry?

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET is the author of Five Minutes To Better Reading Skills, Ten Minutes To Better Study Skills and numerous other books, reading games, and guides. She is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and internationally recognized as America’s Leading Learning Specialist and the founder of BonnieTerryLearning.com. Terry is an expert in identifying students’ learning disabilities. Ms. Terry coaches teachers and parents so they can give their child a 2 to 4-year learning advantage in just 45-60 minutes a day. She is a frequent media guest and speaker.

How Executive Function Skills Impact Reading

What are Executive Function Skills?

Executive function skills are part of our daily lives. These are the planning, organizing, and prioritizing skills that help you start a task and stay focused on it until completion. From doing your homework to planning a family vacation to building a sand castle, these skills are critical.

We don’t often think of the connection executive functions skills have with reading, but these skills also impact reading.

How Executive Function Impacts Reading

Any time you read:

  • You decide what you are going to read.
  • You decide when you are going to read.
  • You plan your reading to fit it into your day.

As you read a news story, an article, or a book, you constantly are using your executive functions skills by asking yourself:

  • Is this important?
  • Do I need to remember this?
  • What associations can I draw to the characters?
  • Do I have any personal life experiences that are relatable?

As you ask yourself questions about what you are reading as you are reading, it helps you retain, understand, and fully comprehend what you read. This is actually a component of executive function.

What reading processes are affected by executive function?

Your working memory and mental flexibility are activated by your executive function skills (asking yourself these questions, planning, and organizing your thoughts). Once you are able to organize your thoughts with your working memory and flexibility, you are able to act succinctly.

  • Vocabulary: helps you organize and categorize words to retain meaning
  • Grammar: helps you interpret content (the nuances and subtleties of the English language, for example: whether a group of words is a statement or a question)
  • Word and sentence emphasis: what words and sentences are important to gather meaning from (what type of mood or emotional context does the passage convey)

Executive function skills and working memory come into every aspect of reading. This includes retrieving word meaning and integrating that with prior knowledge and experience.

Your ability to maintain focus impacts your ability to read easily. Working memory comes into play by helping us to hold onto multiple bits of information in a paragraph as well as a story.

Executive Function Skills Build Foundational Reading Skills

Research by Laurie Cutting and George McCloskey has established the contributions of executive function to the reading process. Executive function skills work directly with working memory. If you improve your executive function skills, your reading comprehensions skills will naturally improve. There are specific activities for different age groups that strengthen executive function and reading skills.

Summer Reading Program Includes Executive Function Activities

We included executive function activities in our Summer Reading Program because of this direct connection. As executive function skills improve, reading skills improve.

The Summer Reading Program is for 1st through 8th graders. Every student can boost their reading skills.

Learn more about our Summer Reading Program here.

Who is Bonnie Terry?

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET is the author of Five Minutes To Better Reading Skills, Ten Minutes To Better Study Skills and numerous others books, reading games, and guides. She is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and internationally recognized as America’s Leading Learning Specialist and the founder of BonnieTerryLearning.com. Terry is an expert in identifying students’ learning disabilities. Ms. Terry coaches teachers and parents so they can give their child a 2 to 4-year learning advantage in just 45-60 minutes a day. She is a frequent media guest and speaker.

Reading Fluency: What is it? And Steps to Improve it This Summer

What is Reading Fluency?

We often hear people about being fluent in different languages. This means that they are able to easily express and articulate themselves in that language. But, what is reading fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to read easily, accurately, and articulately. It is the ability to accurately decode words. It is the ability to automatically process words. When reading aloud, it is also the ability to correctly add intonation (the rise and fall, pattern and pitch of voice when speaking) to words. This intonation correctly gives emphasis and life to a passage of words.

Reading fluency bridges the gap between word recognition and reading comprehension. When you are able to quickly, accurately, and easily read words, it is much easier to immediately understand the meaning of a passage. If you are not fluent and you are slow to read multiple words in sequence, it is much harder to comprehend or understand that sentence or paragraph as a whole.

Is it Important to be a Fluent Reader?

A fluent reader is a reader that reads with quickness and accuracy without effort or mindful attention to the mechanics of reading. In other words, a fluent reader has the ability to retrieve and read words automatically. Efficient readers are fluent readers. Reading slowly, single word by single word leads to both poor comprehension and frustration. If you can’t read quickly and hold the pieces of what you read in your mind, you typically don’t even like to read. It takes too much energy and labor.

If your child becomes a fluent reader, they could finally enjoy reading and get their assignments done faster. When you are a fluent reader, you can read at a faster rate while understanding what you’ve read. You improve your reading comprehension, processing speed, and other areas of perception.

Do these statements describe your child?

Do they…

  • Enjoy reading?
  • Take a long time to read?
  • Skip, repeat, or mispronounce words when reading?

Are they…

  • Confident fluent readers?
  • Reading in their free time?
  • Excited to read?
  • Decent readers but there might be room for improvement?

Announcing: 2019 Summer Reading Program for 1st – 8th Grades

Phonics, Reading Fluency, Comprehension and More

The Summer Reading Program is a 6-week program with videos, audios, reading selections, handouts, and brain-body activities, all online. Each week you will get a reading drill specifically designed to work on becoming a fluent reader and improve comprehension, visual tracking, and processing speed like those in our Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills books.

You will see progress each week. We have seen substantial reading fluency gains using our reading tools with hundreds of students in-house. Our results have been confirmed by an independent study on Bonnie Terry’s reading tools. This study was conducted by Dr. Debra Wilson with students grades 3-6 over a period of 5 years.

Research Behind Reading Fluency

The National Reading Panel report (2000) and other studies (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; Kuhn & Stahl, 2000; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003) have given great emphasis to the importance of reading fluency, but it is still not a major component in learning to read in many schools and reading programs.

Samuels, a reading researcher from the 1970’s stated in 2006, “Comprehension requires the fluent mastery of the surface-level aspects of reading.” Additionally, Bashir and Hook in 2008 state, “There is a Key Link between fluency (word identification) and comprehension. There are specific ways you can improve your reading fluency.

Cecil Mercer’s research from the University of Florida has also proved short, daily practice of five to six minutes a day creates substantial reading gains. The key to overall success was doing the repeated oral reading over a period of time such as six months to twenty-three months.

Everyone Can Improve Their Reading Fluency and Comprehension

One homeschool mom recently tried our Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills out with her family:

Reading Fluency Review from Homeschool Mom

“When I first heard of Bonnie Terry’s 5 Minutes to Better Reading Skills program, I assumed it was only for beginning readers. Not so! It’s for everyone! My kids from 3rd to 6th grade are already benefiting from it and we’ve only been using it for a week. Their reading speed, confidence, and comprehension are going up by leaps and bounds!”

Read the Full Review

The Summer Reading Program 2019 includes Reading Fluency Training

Pam Cutler states, “I love your reading program and rave about it to everyone!! My son’s reading, writing, and self-confidence have dramatically improved, and the activities were fun to do.”

Karen Macy states, “My son was flunking out of first grade. We hired a private tutor, met with his teacher and his school principal. Nothing was working. The school was talking about holding my son back in the first grade. I felt that would have been devastating to his self-esteem. By chance one of the teachers mentioned the Bonnie Terry Learning System. I immediately went online and ordered it. Within weeks he was making progress. In fact, he just blossomed. He turned his school performance around so much that he was moved from the lowest groups to the middle groups and then the highest groups. It was amazing. He was so excited because work that he struggled with was now easy. His teacher was surprised with the change in him and he passed on to the second grade with no more problems.”

Learn More About the Summer Reading Program

Frequently Asked Questions