Who wants to read over the summer?
Hopefully, the answer to the question above is – EVERYONE!
Summer reading is more than just a way to pass the time; it is also the way to prevent the “summer slide.” Teachers will tell you – if a child does not read over the summer (particularly in grades K-2), they often go down a reading level or two from where they ended the school year. So instead of moving forward from the very first day of school in August, they will spend at least a month regaining that lost ground. But how do you get kids to read when the sun is shining and they have so many activities?
Keep it short and manageable, and don’t limit your child to read only books. There are so many different things to read: magazines, travel books, brochures, menus, grocery ads, riddles, Mad Libs, comics…the list goes on! The important thing is to read every day; multiple times per day is even better.
When choosing reading material, make sure that it meets two criteria:
- It should be easy or just right for your child. Ideally, she should be able to read a page with no more than 3 difficult words or errors. Never force your child to read something that is too challenging! This will backfire on you by creating a resistance and dislike of reading. If we want children to enjoy reading, it must be an enjoyable experience (not torture!). For help in selecting reading materials, Scholastic Book Wizard (http://www.scholastic.com/parents/book-search) is available as an app to help you while at the library or bookstore.
- It should also be interesting to your child. Choice of reading materials is a key to reading success. No one wants to read things that they are forced to read. But spending time with texts that are about topics he is interested in while set him up for fun and success.
Research has shown that reading just 6 books over the summer is the “ideal” for preventing summer slide. Our school participates in the Summer Reading Challenge, and the public library always offers a summer reading program with a fun theme and incentives. Scholastic also has a website for kids to search for books, earn points, and play games at https://www.scholastic.com/kids/home.
Last, don’t forget to keep reading to your kids over the summer. Bedtime stories and audible books on car trips are the best ways to increase your children’s vocabulary and comprehension while providing some quality time together.
Enjoy your summer…read…and we’ll see you next school year!