Last Days of School:

With this holiday weekend of Memorial Day approaching, it signals that the last days of school for this year have just happened or will be happening in a few days….a week at the most. So, students that means no more reading, writing, listening, tests or homework! Really??  Well, maybe we shouldn’t throw all of the above out for the eight weeks of summer.

I would venture to say that reading and writing are the two most important areas that should not be put up on a shelf during the summer. This is true for all students, not just those who were getting some extra help during the school year. In fact, many reading specialists who have researched this topic clearly point out that children who do not read during the summer can lose several months of reading and academic progress. So, here are some ideas for your kids or grandkids to put in to practice this summer to lessen the opportunity to lose reading skills.

  • Make going to the library a weekly excursion.
  • Make a list together with your child about topics and books they would like to read during the summer.
  • Let the child pick some of his own books when guided to the area of the right reading level.
  • Read to your child every single day, even if it is only for 15 minutes.
  • Have many variations of print in your home….books, magazines, maps, pamphlets, coupons, grocery lists, written letters,  etc.
  • Have set times when the adults and the children in the house read on their own for short periods of time. Even small children can have their own bookshelf with picture books they look at during this quiet time.
  • After quiet reading, each family member shares two things they learned from their book. (All answers as long as on topic can be correct).
  • If the child has written language skills, let them write the grocery list (phonetic spelling is fine here) or write the notes to other family members regarding their whereabouts and when the return time is.
  • Search on-line for some sites that have free download books that can be read on the iPad (not all reading should be this way).
  • Get out the paints or crayons and have the children make book marks for themselves and each family member.
  • As a grandparent, I always give a book for every occasion I can think of in the child’s life.

These are just a few ideas to encourage the LOVE and JOY of reading in children. If a child does not learn to like and come to love books and reading, they will not promote it for themselves as  adults, or model it in their own homes one day.

Remember: “You cannot open a book without learning something” (Confucius)



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