Statistics show that children who do not read during the summer months lose at least one month of instruction. Researchers often refer to this loss as the “summer slide.” This loss is especially seen in low-income (poor) children. However, children who do read during the summer months enhance reading skills.
Reading improves your children’s reading skills, but it also helps develop their speaking abilities, writing skills and expand their vocabulary. Educators know that summer reading is important for children, because it results in better academic performance when they return to school in the fall. When asked about the importance of reading during the summer, Tonijah, age 9, responded, “Because if you read in the summer, when you get back to school you can read higher levels.”
In efforts to help promote your children’s learning, continually read books with them during the summer. Not only read books, but other forms of print are acceptable. Forms of print include magazines, comic books and even your grocery list. Environmental print such as road signs, building signs, billboards, and JumboTrons are other forms of reading material. While driving through town point out different print and ask them to read it to you. Get them involved in summer reading programs, or visit the public library regularly. Keep in mind that during this time reading should be for enjoyment. If you’re having trouble helping your child find a book, try these simple steps: 1)Turn to a page in the book.
2)Ask your child to read the page.
3)If your child can’t read at least five words on the page, direct he/she to another book.
Keep in mind that our children’s success depends on our active involvement of exposing and keeping them engaged with reading.