Monday, May 13, 2019

Success and Summer Reading

Photo by Wendee on Reshot
When my children were in school, I was guilty of thinking, “My children have worked so hard over this school year, they need a break.” We planned outings for the summer, played outside, went to the pool, and had a lot of fun. Those were all good things which brought our family together through shared experiences and there was probably some learning along the way. But our focus was fun.

Looking back on our idyllic summers, I have a twinge of regret. You see, learning is something successful people do year round. I could have used those summers to encourage reading about the experiences we were having, learning new and interesting things, and exploring fun fiction that my children might not be exposed to throughout the school year.

Summer reading keeps our children from forgetting the information they learned during their school year. Literacy expert Julie Wood says, “It is necessary for children to read on a daily basis in order to maintain literacy skills learned in the previous school year.” Summer reading helps them to grow in knowledge and learn critical thinking skills for the coming year. Daily reading keeps our brain in shape.

 A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, research study shows that “children who don't read over the summer lose at least two months of reading development. This is often referred to as 'the summer slide' or the 'summer learning loss.' On the other hand, students who do read over the summer may gain a month of proficiency in reading. Reading over the summer is not a suggestion to keep kids busy; it's a critical requirement to help students stay on track for their entire educational career and beyond.”

We all want to contribute to the success of our children. Summer reading is one way you as a parent can encourage an enthusiastic attitude toward reading, encourage your children to grow in knowledge and learn critical thinking skills for the coming year.

Contributed by Jamie Rexrode

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