Prab Singh heads CollegeSource (http://thecollegesource.net/), an organisation that provides life coaching to adolescents and support to their family through the process of deciding their higher education and career goals.
The 18th-century English essayist Sir Richard Steele suggested, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
If you are like most of my students, you are inundated with reading material throughout the year, making it very challenging to find time to read other books for your own pleasure. I want to use this blog post to remind you of the many reasons that reading is so important, and also point you in a few directions to find what to read and where you can get it! Honestly, on the what to read part, it really does not matter, anything more complicated than a comic book will be developing invaluable critical thinking skills and vocabulary.
Some of what you read this summer can also be directed towards understanding how to write better in the first person, and help those of you who will be working on admissions essays this summer. You might also want to look ahead to the texts that you need to read next year and jump on those in the summer to lighten your load for the year ahead! For those of you who are working towards preparing for the SAT test, required for students applying to the US (and some schools in Singapore), let me tell you that I have found a very strong correlation between students who have a strong independent reading habit and those who score well on the Critical Reading section of the SAT. Oh, and that correlation goes the other way too! Students who do not read typically find it incredibly difficult to improve their Critical Reading section score.
This is a good place to transition to my first suggestion for reading this summer.
1. There are several books that have cleverly used frequent SAT vocabulary words in the story. As you read the story, there will be frequently used vocabulary words written in bold, and the definition of the word will be at the bottom of the page. This will develop vocabulary skills and reading comprehension skills. I have actually had some of my students work on writing their own short stories using word lists that you can find in the back of most SAT Prep books. It is fun and also develops your writing style! Maybe you can convince your friends to do the same? Here are a couple places you can go to explore and buy these kinds of books: