How to Keep those Reading Skills SHARP this Summer

How to Keep those Reading Skills SHARP this Summer


Summer break is finally here!  Although our kids deserve a vacation from the daily   homework load – we don’t want to completely let their reading skills slip during this summer vacation.   Here is a very family-friendly list of activities you can try at home this summer with your kids to keep the reading skills sharp and active in those kiddies:



  • Cook with your kids.  Cooking is a great way for the family to spend fun and educational time together.  Reading food labels and recipes can help your children improve their reading skills and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.  You can also work up an appetite by reading a story about food.  Then make and eat the food you read about. 


  • Listen to audio books in the car while traveling.  Spending time listening to books strengthens listening, concentration and imagination skills in children.  It also gives them an opportunity to improve vocabulary and language skills.  Take your child’s iPod along on car trips or while you are running errands during the summer break. 


  • Take your child grocery shopping.  Let your child carry the shopping list as you shop.  They can read off the items you need.  Label reading is also a great reading task for a child.  You can have them look up the ingredients on the labels or ask them to research which breakfast cereal has the least amount of sugar in it.


  • Play board games.  Here is your opportunity to expand your child’s mind while also having fun and spending time together.  Games like Scrabble, Boggle and other word games are great for challenging the minds of kids.  Some games require reading for clues or reading directions. 


  • Read about your vacation destination before you go.  Have your child read about your travel spots ahead of time and help plan the trip for you.  If you go camping, explore the wildlife and scenery on-line.


  • Pick your favorite author.  Try to read all the books by a favorite author and list them on a chart.  Then write a letter to the author.  Most authors have their own websites with contact information, book titles, games and more.


  • Visit a museum or zoo.  There will be lots and lots of signs and descriptions to read which will encourage non-fiction reading vocabulary.


  • Go to the library.  Access all those wonderful library resources, including reading incentive programs and opportunities for volunteer work for older children.


  • Plant a vegetable garden.  Read books together about gardening.  Read directions to plant seeds.  Children can research online for growing tips and learning how to take care of their vegetables. 


  • Campfire Stories.  Set up a tent in the backyard and have your children take turns reading campfire stories.  Pick out some fun scary mysteries and don’t forget the s’mores.


  • Don’t watch TV – read it!  If it is available, have your child watch close captioned TV with the sound off.  Not only builds reading skills but also builds empathy for those who are hearing impaired. 


  • Keep a summer scrapbook.  Tape in souvenirs of your family’s summer activities such as pictures, ticket stubs, photos, etc.  The kids can write captions and read them aloud as you look at the book together.


Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program


 headshot Karina GIF

Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder and Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist.   Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications.  You can visit the Pride Learning Center website at:








Avoiding the Summer Learning Loss at Pride Learning Center

Avoiding the Summer Learning Loss at Pride Learning Center


As the school year ends, many students are busy during the summer months with camps, play dates, recreational activities and vacations. Some students might even be bored during the long summer months. When summer ends, students go back to school and often forget much of what they learned the previous year. This is what we call the summer learning loss.

Studies show that summer loss for all students equals about a month of academic learning. For students with learning disabilities, this loss may amount to as much as 3 months! Weaknesses in memory, processing speed, attention and language cause valuable skills to weaken rapidly. As a result, students will have to spend more time reviewing at the beginning of each school year in order to catch up.

Continuing instruction during the summer months can help greatly reduce learning loss as well as gives students the opportunities to dedicate more time than is possible during the school year to remediate and get ahead. Students can make amazing progress during these long summer months!

Pride Learning Center offers Reading and Writing Summer Programs for students of all ages. We offer an intensive Orton-Gillingham reading and writing program (3 hours M-F), as well as standard sessions (1 hour once or twice a week) between June and August.

Summer Catch – Up Program

Do in 4 weeks what would normally take 30-40 weeks!

Our Pride Intensive offers the most dramatic results. Our reading specialists will provide the needed support to get students at grade level during the long summer months. Your child still gets a summer break, as sessions are typically only 3 hours a day five days a week depending on family choice and goals established at the initial consultation. There are still plenty of hours in the day to play, go to the beach or just relax.

Sample Daily Schedule:
9:00 – 10:00 Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
10:00 – 10:30 Technology Based Reading Instruction
10:30 – 11:00 Snack, Fun and Movement
11:00 – 11:30 Writing Instruction
11:30 – 12:00 Orton-Gillingham reading Instruction

Summer Get-Ahead Program

Summer is such a great time to review material and get ahead on next year’s curriculum! We offer programs in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension for those students who want to attend Pride once or twice a week.

Reading Readiness at Pride Learning Center
Pre-K – Kindergarten

Pride’s early intervention program will teach your child to read and get ahead in school. By working through our multisensory, Orton-Gillingham reading program step-by-step, your child will learn alphabetic knowledge and understanding of the alphabetic principles in a fun yet structured environment. Your child will receive a strong and solid reading foundation that will last a lifetime.

Reading and Spelling at Pride Learning Center
Grade K – Grade 8

Pride’s multisensory, Orton-Gillingham reading and spelling program is action oriented and involves constant interaction between our Reading Specialists and your child. Each student at Pride learns to read in a systematic, cumulative, structured and step-by-step process. Each lesson encompasses the skills of decoding, encoding, fluency and reading comprehension. Your child will become a strong and independent reader.

Reading Comprehension
Grade 2 – Grade 12

Pride’s highly successful research-based Reading Comprehension Program teaches students to draw meaning from text and to verbally express their understanding of it. Utilizing nonfiction-reading passages on a variety of subjects, the skills that are taught prepare students for standardized tests and provide valuable practice in nonfiction reading knowledge on a wide range of subjects.

Writing Skills
Grade 2 – Grade 12

Pride’s writing skills program effectively teaches essential skills in careful order: from parts of speech, to sentence structure, to paragraphs, to complete essays. For the reluctant beginning writer, our program provides the essential foundation in thinking and writing skills. For the more proficient and advanced writer, it offers opportunities, strategies, and techniques to apply them.


Pride Learning Center has locations in Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach and Mission Viejo. For more information visit or call 866-774-3342 ext. 1