Dear Wildflower Parents and Guardians,
Summertime can be a fun time for students filled with camping, travel, outdoor activities and long hot days. But each year some students fall behind because of what researchers call, “reading loss.” Oftentimes, families get too busy and forget to include reading into their busy schedules or perhaps, students lack access to quality books.
Research has shown that summer reading loss is cumulative over time. It also shows that summer reading can make a significant difference in a student’s academic achievement when beginning a new school year: reading enhances students’ reading comprehension, language, vocabulary development, general knowledge, and empathy for others, as well as, their self confidence as readers, motivation to read throughout their lives, and positive attitudes towards reading.
There are a number of things you can do to encourage your child to read and to help develop strong reading and writing skills over the summer:
Make time for reading: set aside a quiet time each day for reading, and remember to include “reading time” when travelling. Just 15-30 minutes a day can make a world of difference!
Read aloud every day: read to your children, even the older ones!
Beat boredom with books: help your child find books that are of interest - this includes: cooking, craft, activity, game, and non-fiction books.
Go to the library. It’s free!: help your child get her own reading card. Kids feel special when they have to apply and sign for this special privilege. The library has a summer reading program - free - with activities and motivation to read. Check it out!
Allow your child to choose what they read. I always suggest to my students, “when looking for a book, read the summary on the back or the first page to see if it seems like a story you would be interested in. If you make more than 5 mistakes on a page, then that book may be to hard.”
Be a reading role model. Make sure your child sees you reading.
Talk about what your child is reading.
Give your child a chance to read aloud to you.
Listen to audio books. This is an especially great thing to do on those long car drives.
Connect reading to travel: Do a little research about where you are going. If you go to State Parks, National Parks, or museums, there are always a multitude of fiction and non-fiction books available in the gift shop (and in some cases our public library).
Please remember: choosing one’s own reading materials is an important factor in motivating readers, especially those who are struggling. Children and teens are more likely to read when it is something that interests them. Independent reading time is essential for students to become better at reading, writing and spelling.
Have a wonderful summer! Happy reading!
WOC Reading Specialist
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