How many times as a parent, teacher, or simply as an adult, have you heard the children in your life ask that question?
“Why do I have to read? It’s summer!”
And, often, as a parents you might be tempted to give in. Give them a break.
As a teacher, I can guarantee that it’s quite evident when school starts whether a student has read over the summer or not. The infamous “summer slide” is a real thing, and it’s not a good one.
So, here we are at the middle of June already. Summer has begun humming along, the weather is clearing up enough to go swimming, finally, and schedules are relaxed. So what if the kiddos skip reading for a day? Or two? Or three?
The reasons we all need to keep reading in the summer are many, but I’m going to share the ones that I feel are the most important.
- Your child worked hard through the school year to make good grades and do well on the endless number of tests they had to take. A break in the reading routine in the summer can make the beginning of the school year harder.
Reading builds muscle memory, stamina, and vocabulary. It builds the background knowledge necessary to understand subject content, simply by exposing them to things they wouldn’t experience in their everyday life. Reading can take them to other places. They learn about other cities, countries, cultures, and ways of life simply by reading a story.
But it’s even more than that. Students who read are more empathetic to others. They develop an inherent understanding and empathy for others, and begin to internalize that people might be going through things they would never know about. It also shows them that they aren’t the only ones to go through hard times, and can even give them solutions to a problem they might encounter.
2. Children who read widely have an increased vocabulary, and greater understanding of the world around them.
3. Reading encourages children to dream big
4. It’s a snowball effect. Reading builds vocabulary, vocabulary builds understanding and comprehension, comprehension builds confidence. Confidence gives them the courage to be a success in no matter what they do.
So, make summer reading an event and a part of each day. Visit the library. Local libraries have summer reading programs that give kiddos incentives to devour those books.
Find a yard sale with books for very little. Go to bookstores.
Kids today are super interested in You Tube, and if you do a quick search, there are countless book trailers in their content that can grab their attention.
And, last but not least, read WITH your kids. Choose books that are a bit above their level, and read them together. It’s a bonding experience that can’t be matched with any other activity in quite the same way.