Ideas for Summer Reading
By: Ms. Frances Acin
Summer shouldn't mean taking a break from learning. Studies show that most students experience a slight loss of skills over the summer months, but children who continue reading and practicing skills will gain mastery. During the summer, parents can help children sustain (and even bolster) academic skills, strengthen their vocabulary and reinforce the benefits of reading and learning for enjoyment.
Remember that children need free time, away from structured academic learning, and the summer is the perfect time to relax and enjoy childhood pleasures. So summer reading should be fun. The following are a few tips to make summer reading enjoyable for your children:
Read aloud together with your child every day. Make it fun by reading outdoors - on the front steps, patio, beach, or park. Also, let your children read to you. For younger children, be sure to practice letter-sound correspondence, do lots of rhyming and clapping out syllables, and explore the relationships between oral language and print. Practice reading in funny voices perhaps characters from the story, or even imitating people you know!
Act it out! After reading a good story, help your child write a script and make the story into a play for your family to act out for others. If you have the time and supplies, your child can even make costumes and a set. Then, if possible, record it and play it again later.
Set a good example! Keep lots of reading material around the house. Turn off the TV and have family reading time. Let your children see that reading is a big part of your life by letting them see you read the newspaper, magazines, books, or any print material. If you find an exciting part, share it with them and discuss what makes it so interesting to you.
Let kids choose what they want to read, and every so often, read the same book your child is reading and discuss it. Please don't force them to finish a book they have decided they don't like. Instead, allow them to put it down and choose a new one. Show them how they might pick a book that is both appropriate and enjoyable.
“Parents and families are the first and most important teachers. If families teach a love of learning, it can make all the difference in the world to our children.”- Richard W. Riley