It’s really pretty simple. Any reading helps. Fun reading helps. It really does. Plenty of research shows that kids who read books they select prevent the summer slide. It can be a fun book. It can be any book. It doesn’t need to be “educational.” They just have to read it.
While preventing the summer slide is a big deal, there is a deeper message here. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun. Take your kid to the library and bookstore and let them find something that seems interesting to them. Find times and spaces where reading happens. If it’s a sunny day, and you are going to the beach – let them play at the beach. Find time later in the day or a night for a little reading.
A love of reading takes time to cultivate. Kids have lots of other things they want to do. Help them discover the joy of reading for pleasure. Summer is a great time to do that. And – make sure they see you reading too! You can set a great role model for them by sharing your enthusiasm for your summer reading.
There’s lots of research showing that kids can lose reading skills over the summer months – and in fact lose something like one full month of learning by the fall. This is a real phenomenon – starting with kids as young as first graders – and for many kids it means that they will be playing catch-up when school starts up again. So how can you prevent the slide?
In principle, it’s pretty simple – you need to keep your kid reading throughout the summer. And it doesn’t matter so much what they are reading (it can be fun stuff) as long as they are reading consistently. But the problem is that without the structure of the school year (and we all like a break from that routine), it can be easy to let reading slide.
Given this, I’m pleased to be able to share a video chat I conducted with Target’s Mommy Ambassador Soleil Moon Frye (aka the former Punky Brewster). She shares fun ideas about finding ways to keep kids reading, including things that work well with her daughters. Just click on the link below to hear her good thoughts on preventing the summer slide:
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.