School’s out, and chances are, summer reading is the last thing on your child’s mind, and possibly even yours! Heather from The Children’s Workshop says don’t wait until the last minute to get those summer reading assignments done this year.
Why is Reading Important?
- Reading is fundamental to functioning in today’s society.
- Reading is important because it develops the mind. The mind is a muscle. It needs exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language skills. It also helps them learn to listen.
- Reading is how we discover new things. Books, magazines and even the Internet are great learning tools which require the ability to read and understand what is read. A person who knows how to read can educate themselves in any area of life they are interested in.
- Reading develops the imagination.
- Reading develops the creative side of people. When reading to children, stop every once in awhile and ask them what they think is going to happen next. Get them thinking about the story.
- Reading is fundamental in developing a good self image. Non-readers or poor readers often have low opinions of themselves and their abilities.
- Reading helps to expand our vocabulary
- Reading is important because words – spoken and written – are the building blocks of life
Why is reading in the Summer Important?
- First and foremost, reading is important for all of us, regardless of the time of year, whether we are kids or adults!
- Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement.
- Children who don’t read over the summer experience summer learning loss. That’s right — kids don’t just feel like they’ve forgotten some of what they’ve learned — they actually do forget it.
- Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline. This effect becomes more pronounced as students get older and advance through the school system.
- The situation for economically disadvantaged students is especially grim: if students from low-income families don’t read over the summer, they are much more likely to fall behind their more privileged peers, widening the “achievement gap.”
- Kids who lose reading skills over the summer could be two years behind their classmates by the end of 6th grade.
Some Strategies to Implement:
- Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.
- Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys basketball, agree to take them to the local court if they do their “daily reading.”
- Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.
- Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids to an aquarium, consider reading a book about fish or the ocean with them later that day. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.
- Read around the world – encourage your child to read street signs on family trips, signs and labels of items at the store, etc. Wherever you see words, encourage your kiddo to read!
- Expose your child to a variety of types of literature
- Join a summer reading challenge at the local library
- Encourage your child to read to a friend or family member