When it comes to summer, reading may not be the first thing—or even in the top ten things—kids think about. For many kids, summer is a time dedicated to watching movies, playing video games, sleeping in, vacationing, and relaxing as much as possible before the beginning of another school year. Children may argue that summer should be spent taking a break from academics and enjoy doing nothing. But reading can be the ideal summer activity. It’s fun, portable, can involve the whole family, and will help your child academically.
As parents and educators, we need to ensure that our children do not fall into what is commonly referred to as “summer slide”. The summer slide: it sounds fun but it can make the transition from grade to grade difficult. Research shows that students who do not read during the summer may experience a decrease in their reading level. But guess what? Students who read regularly during the summer often improve their reading level and ability!
Just like with playing a sport, reading is a skill that must be practiced. When a child spends hours a day hitting a baseball, swimming, or dancing, they will progress. But say the child stops hitting balls for three months or takes a few months off from swimming. Will he hit a ball as accurately? Will he swim as efficiently as before? No, but if he practices a few times a week, will he be able to regain the previously learned skills relatively quickly? Yes!
It is important to keep your child’s mind engaged over the summer so they will not fall victim to the summer slide.
Students can start strong in the fall if their reading habits don’t slide away during the summer months. That’s why the MSPCS staff has created SUMMER READING LISTS & SUMMER READING PROJECTS. We have developed extensive reading lists for each grade, along with a list of fun projects to complete based on what they’ve read. Parents can help their child read by finding creative ways to engage them. There are strategies and tips listed to guide parents in helping their children select text and books that are appropriate, encourage reading, and fun! Also included are helpful websites to visit as resources to help parents put good books into kids’ hands and connect them to vibrant summer learning adventures.