by Annie Grace
The summer slide refers to the tendency of students to forget what they learned over the summer and teachers typically spend 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material from the previous year.
This summer lag can have lasting effects. Studies have shown that 3rd graders who cannot read at their grade level are less likely to graduate from high school. Studies have also shown that children who grow up in homes with a lot of books do better in the classroom. One of the best things that students can do to prevent the summer slide is to read during the summer. Reading helps build vocabulary and comprehension. There are several fun and exciting ways that you can encourage your children to read this summer.
Allow Children to Pick Out Their Own Book
Many schools give out a summer reading list. However, the books on the list may not be interesting to read. Children are ninety-one per cent more likely to finish a book if they are allowed to pick one themselves. Eighty-six per cent of children feels accomplished after they read a book. In addition to reading books, your children can read magazines, picture books, chapter books and humorous books.
Cut Back on Television and iPad Time
This can be difficult for many parents to do. It is easy to keep children occupied for long periods of time by allowing them to watch television and use an iPad or another electronic device. While yes, iPads can be a great resource for reading, they can also be a hindrance unless there is parental supervision ensuring children are using them for reading and not games. However, by reducing the amount of electronic time you create more time for reading. On the flip side, you do not want to replace screen time with reading altogether because that may cause your children to see reading as a chore instead of fun. You should simply restrict their screen time. This extra time can also be spent playing outside.
Make Reading a Fun Activity
Reading should not be an activity that your child dreads. There are many things that you can do in order to make reading a fun and enjoyable activity. For example, you can serve snacks that go along with the book theme. You can also give your children 3D glasses that help book colors and characters pop.
Make Books Accessible
You can encourage reading by putting books in a place where your children can easily get to them. For example, you can put the books by the bed, which will help encourage reading before bed. You can slip some mini books in your purse or backpack for other times. Another great idea is to put together a small book box that fits in the car.
Read Out Loud To Your Children
Many children are not interested in reading alone. However, you can encourage them to read by reading out loud to them or actively listening to them as they read. You will be setting a good example for them and helping them build their vocabulary. Select books that both you and your children will enjoy.
Take Advantage of the Public Library
Most public libraries have incentives to encourage children to read during the summer. For example, many libraries offer free movie tickets to children who read a certain number of books. They also have various activities that go on throughout the year in order to encourage reading. Next time you swing by your public library pick up an activities calendar; there is usually plenty of fun weekly reading activities for your children.
Annie Grace Wilson is a Public Relations Specialist for American Paper Optics. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics on unique and exciting 3-D activities for children.