Friday, July 29th, 2011
It happens every summer — once the 4th of July passes, summer feels like it’s slipping away. So it’s a good time for all of us parents to remind ourselves that our kids should be reading this summer because before you know it, the first day of school will be here.
You all have heard about the summer slide. Not reading over the summer can set kids back quite a bit once school starts rolling again. That’s reason enough to make sure your child is reading, ideally a little bit everyday.
But I think there’s more than that. Summer is a great time to convey to your child that reading is a terrific way to spend free time. To that end, experts have encouraged parents to let their kids select books that interest them. You don’t have to make sure your kid is reading something “educational” as long as it’s around the comfort (or “just right”) reading level for them. But it can be about anything that’s acceptable material to you, and fun for them.
In addition to letting them find a book that they really want to read, it’s also great to sit with them and read yourself. It doesn’t have to be for a long time (we’re all busy), but taking time to read together (even if it’s 15 minutes) sends the message that reading is a leisure activity (not just something you have to do). And it’s really great to talk to children a little bit to find out what’s happening in their book — giving them a chance to share their enthusiasm facilitates their comprehension and their ability to summarize what they’ve read.