As the school year comes to a close and summer is just around the corner, it is important for children to continue learning, even though they are not in school. One way to help build upon their gains from the previous school year is by encouraging your children to continue to read over the summer. This will prevent what teachers refer to as the “summer slip.” When a child is not actively learning during the summer, they will not retain and advance the skills that they learned during that school year.
Here are several ways to encourage your child to read over the summer:
- Visit your local library. Many libraries have special summer reading days where the librarian will read to children or provide activities that tie into reading, as well as provide help specifically for children to for them choose books to read at home.
- Don’t necessarily set a firm time period or time block when your child MUST read, but try to set aside some time for reading at least once a day. Try to make it a fun learning experience for them and for them to want to read on their own. To encourage this, you can lead by example by reading at home. This will encourage them to read along with you. You could also set aside time, even for older children, to read to or with them. Sharing the experience will make it more meaningful.
- Pick books for your child that you can incorporate fun activities to extend the learning experience. For example, after reading If You Give a Moose a Muffin, you can watch the video of the book on YouTube and you could even make a batch of muffins. Another example would be to read the series on Ballpark Mysteries and then have a family outing to a local baseball game. Nature and sports magazines are popular summer reading for kids.
Make reading a fun learning experience for your child this summer.