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Summer Reading

“The number one question I hear parents ask is, ‘How can I get my kid to love reading?’”

-Dr. Aditi Mehra-

The Reward Principle

In continuation of the the quote above, the “enjoyment” of reading is the top concern among parents.  Mom’s and dad’s come into our Chicago Learning Lab and our Naperville Learning Lab worried about why their children don’t enjoy reading the way other kids do.  The answer is simple.  It’s all about REINFORCEMENT!  Why does your child choose video games over reading?  The video games are reinforcing!  He or she does not really have to think when engaged in those games.  There’s certainly no decoding going on, as there would with reading a book.  A child can just immerse himself or herself into the screen and escape into whatever the mission requires.  The reinforcement of the video game is just sort of built into the equation and the magnitude of the reinforcement comes down to winning vs losing.  Obviously, the more the child wins, the more reinforcing it is.  Even if the child is not winning, the visual and sensory input of the game alone will be enough to produce enjoyment.


Now, let’s revisit this notion of “decoding” that I mentioned above.  Many children are struggling with reading because they are spending their time decoding the letters and words.  As long as this is happening, children are not truly comprehending what they read.  A child can start to enjoy reading once this “decoding” process is eliminated and he or she begins to produce mental images from the passages.  Kyle Horsley, the reigning memory world champion, said “your mind is like an internal movie screen on which you can ask it to produce information. ”  As children begin to better process the information they read, the books can begin to take on the characteristics of a captivating movie.  After all, what kid doesn’t enjoy a visually-stunning,  animated Disney production?

The Summer Reading Advantage


Whether it comes from the private school students at my Chicago Learning Lab or the public school students at my Naperville Learning Lab, I hear a consistent complaint.  “It is hard enough for us to keep up with our regular school work, much less find time for extra reading activities.”  Not to mention the fact that extracurricular activities are abound within both the Chicago and Naperville communities.  I get it!  The great thing about Summer is that many of these activities are off in the Chicagoland area during this time.  This presents a great opportunity for children to strengthen their reading or overcome any deficiencies that may exist.

Our Summer Reading Camp


Parents, we heard your complaints, we sympathized, and we have responded.  As a result, our Summer Reading Camp is now here!  Perhaps it is less of a Summer Reading Camp and more of a Summer Reading Program, but we feel that the word “camp” projects a sense of “fun” that we want all children to derive from the act of reading.  Moms and dads, we realize that this will not be the easiest of Summer Camps to pitch to your kids, but I can assure you that it will be the most beneficial.  Given the higher demand during the Summer months, we’ll have our professional staff at optimal levels for both our Chicago and Naperville locations.   Despite our increased staff, the spots still fill up quickly, so we encourage you to act quickly to secure placement for your children.

 Minding The Gaps


I mentioned above that enrolling your child in one of our Summer Reading Camps could prove to be among the most beneficial decisions you could make.  Here is the strongest benefit we can offer!  We have often found that children have gone many years of school without knowing that significant learning gaps existed.  The problem with learning gaps is that keep widening  the farther along kids go in school.  Our professional staff are all trained to identify the gaps and work toward filling them.  This sometimes requires us to go back to more fundamental material and correct those issues before advancing to more complex content.  Parents are usually so relieved when we are able to identify the learning gaps in their children and correct them accordingly.  After all, if such gaps go uncorrected, then bad academic habits will endure throughout the child’s educational years.  This is the greatest gift that we can provide during these precious Summer months!  If you need additional resources, please feel free to read the 5 Best Reasons to Enroll in Summer Reading Camp.