It’s summertime! Children are out of school, and I'm sure the only things on their mind are amusement parks, camp, swimming, beaches, and BBQs! But in between activities and adventures, be sure to remind them to READ.
“Summer Slump” is a phrase describing the decline in students learning skills over the summer months. As educators, we must make sure this doesn’t happen to our children. Here are some ways to make reading an important part of the summer day:
- Visit the Library — Have the family join this year's Summer Reading program. This will allow children to read, keep a list of what they've read, and write a review for others to read. You can even have a friendly competition to find out who has read the most books in your family. Sign-up at summerreading.org.
- Books to Go — Going on a vacation? Bring your books along. Libraries offer ebooks, so you can download and return books from wherever you are.
- Build a Book — Collect day-to-day keepsake items and have children create a book about their summer. They can add text to pictures they draw, to photographs, or even cut and paste flyers and pamphlets from the programs they've attended. It will be fun to read the book again during the cold winter months.
- Cooking up Fun — Let children help in the kitchen. Have them read the recipe out loud or measure the ingredients for you. This will make mealtime extra exciting.
- Put on a Performance — Children will have a great time putting together a play using characters from the books they've read over the summer.
- You’ve Got Mail — Get a family member (grandparents, or even a cousin their age) to be a pen pal to your child. They can write about and share their summer plans.
- Book Trailers for Readers — This free website gives a sneak peek into the book, just like a movie trailer does for a movie!
- Read-A-Longs — Databases like Tumblebooks and BookFlix are fun ways for young readers to read a story.
- LibraryThing — The whole family can create a virtual bookshelf of what they read over the summer, and children will be so excited to see all the books they've read.
Let your child know you are interested in what they are reading. Reading books aloud, listening to audio books, or just talking to them about what they are reading will demonstrate your genuine interest and help make reading a natural part of summer fun.