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While summer is an important break from school, it should not be a break from learning. When students stop reading and learning, they lose essential skills and consequently experience what is commonly referred to as “summer slide.” Reading during the summer is one of the best ways to keep from losing skills obtained in the previous school year.
Parents play a major role in the summer activities of children. Encourage continuous learning by implementing some of these ideas into your summer days:
Be an Example
Children watch their parents and often mimic their actions. As children see their parents read, they are more likely to do the same. Foster a habit of reading in your home by reading yourself and inviting children to join. Reading as a family can provide quality family memories and help each family member continue to learn.
Access to Books
During the school year, children have easy access to books in their classrooms and the school library. During the summer, this does not change. Many Provo City School District school libraries are open during the summer. Check you school’s website to find their summer hours. The Provo City Library is a great resource, too.
Keep reading aloud to your children. It is recommended to read aloud daily, even if just for 10 minutes. These few minutes allow children to listen and imagine, it also helps them be better readers. Reading books aloud of a slightly higher level to children helps grow vocabulary and experience more complex grammar.
Encourage creativity and imagination by providing an opportunity to make and decorate bookmarks! They can be as simple as coloring a small piece of paper or popsicle stick. It is a great way to inspire kids to read and use their bookmarks to keep their spot in the adventure of the story.
Summer is often a time of travel. Whether in a car or on a plane, give the screen a rest and let imaginations run wild with books read aloud on CD or MP3. Listening to books instead of watching TV or movies can provide meaningful opportunities to think creatively and imagine.
Games & Activities
Who doesn’t love a good incentive? Making a game out of reading books can often be a positive incentive for children to read. You know your kids best, so be creative with what they like and see how you can make reading books into a game. For example, for every book a child finishes they receive a popsicle stick to build a tower. You can make it a competition among children to see who can make the highest tower by the end of the summer!
These are just a few ideas to keep our students engaged and learning during their break from school. We want to hear how you are helping your students read during the summer – tag us in your social media photos and posts of summer reading!