Summer vacation is nearly upon us, and children everywhere are getting ready to put the backpacks away for a few months and get outside to play. No school may mean fresh air, time with friends, lazy days, and the “Summer Slide”. “Summer Slide” does not refer to burning the backs of little legs on sliding boards sitting in the hot sun, but the loss of some of the academic gains of the previous school year. The “Summer Slide” is common, but not inevitable.
Many public libraries offer summer reading programs, which is a great way to keep your children reading during the summer months. Check out your program and get your children excited about it. Make it a date every week to meet the other kids at the library and join in the activity.
Even if your public library is not planning such an event, you can create your own summer reading program.
- Plan a trip to the library with your children each week or every other week.
- Pick a theme based on the kids’ interests. Maybe they are into dinosaurs at the moment. Have them choose books about dinosaurs and let them tell you about what they read.
- Plan a trip to a local natural history museum if one is close, or rent a movie about the creatures to watch together. For a child who likes to work with their hands, make a diorama together of a prehistoric scene in a shoebox, and include small plastic dinosaurs as a reward.
Activities like this can work with many different kinds of interests.
It is easy to incorporate the READS reading comprehension system into these activities, too. The suggestions on the cards are a great way to determine if your child is comprehending the material, and choosing which cards to use each time promote discussion and interaction between you and your child. It’s summer, keep it light, keep it fun, but by all means, keep them reading!
Feel free to share some of your own tips for encouraging young readers during the summer. We’d love to hear them.