Summer reading is critical for students to retain knowledge and skills learned in the previous school year. Students who don’t read typically fall behind their summer reading classmates; a phenomenon commonly referred to as the ‘Summer Slide’. Children with limited access to books are at the greatest risk. It’s estimated those children lose about 2 months of reading performance each summer, and that those loses accumulate each year during the elementary grades. By middle school these students can be up to 2 ½ years behind!
Fortunately, this is one problem that has a simple and FREE solution. Make sure your children have access to plenty of books and reads a minimum of 20 minutes a day.
The public library is an excellent resource for families. Libraries offer an unlimited supply of books on all subjects, for all reading levels. Most libraries have summer reading programs that offer incentives for young readers. The staff will be happy to help your children apply for a library card. And get one for yourself too. Walk the walk. When your child sees you reading you are sending a message that reading is important and valuable.
The summer is a great opportunity for children to discover reading for pleasure, so encourage your child to choose books on any topic that interests them. Your child can read silently to themselves or aloud to you. It’s also OK for you to read to your child. When you read to your child, they learn about the rhythm of language which helps with fluency. Make reading exciting by reading with expression, changing your voice for different characters and increasing volume for the exciting or suspenseful parts.
If you have children of different ages, ask an older child to read a story to a younger sibling. You may find they follow your lead in using different voices or expressions.
We all know how much kids love their devices, so if it makes reading more palpable, download word games or interactive books to their iPad or tablet. Look for opportunities for them to read outside of books; road signs, menus, recipes, directions for assembling toys, song lyrics, grocery lists….. just READ!