A Season of Reading
Those of you with children in elementary school are likely familiar with required summer reading programs. Teachers stress the importance of reading over the summer to help students retain what they’ve learned and to sharpen skills for the new school year. This is especially true for new readers.
Here’s why summer reading is important, as proven by numerous studies:
- It prevents “summer reading loss,” a loss that is cumulative through the elementary and middle school years. Kids don’t catch up in the Fall since their classmates are already moving ahead.
- A key component of summer reading is letting kids choose their own books. Choosing what they read is a huge motivator to new readers. Kids read more when they read what they like!
- Students who read over the summer do better when school starts, and eventually out-perform those who don’t read over the summer.
- It often involves parents and care givers reading with or to children, creating an important time for togetherness and guidance.
- Regular reading fosters a life-long love of books. What better gift to give your children?
Of course, reading isn’t just a summertime activity and it’s not only important to kids old enough to read themselves. We all retain knowledge about words and the world around us every time we read or are read to. This is true even to babies.
Reading to the Very Young:
- Reading to babies gives them information about the world around them – everything from emotions they hear in your voice, to concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers and letters.
- It teaches basic reading concepts, such as turning pages and following text from left to right.
- The more you read aloud, the more words your child hears and the more they learn about making sounds and eventually words.
- It helps babies build listening, memory, and vocabulary skills.
- Kids who are read to when they are very young are more likely to have an easier time learning to read.
- Pointing out printed words and letters while reading to young children is proven to have a big impact on their later reading skills.
- Teaches babies that reading is fun, and that books are great.
Simple Tips for Making Reading Part of Your Family’s Daily Routine
This summer, teach your kids the joy of a good book. It’s easy to make reading a part of your family’s life , everyday:
- Set aside time to read everyday, such as reading before naptime or bedtime, or making a TV and electronics-free quiet time.
- Create a reading list by choosing a favorite author or series and reading all the books.
- Keep books handy around your house and include choices for everyone.
- Stash books in your car, diaper bag, and kids’ tote bags to help pass the time while they are waiting or riding in the car.
- Join a library or online summer reading program.
- Read to your children and have older kids read to you or their siblings.
- Listen to books on tape when traveling.
- Regularly visit a library with your child or together choose books to download on your e-Reader or iPad.
- Make sure your sitters are on board, too, and that they know reading to your child is a must.
For more information on the importance of reading, visit: