Continuing in the Summertime theme I want to write a little bit about the summer slump especially as it applies to reading.
To be truthful, I am not a staunch believer that we can forget what we have truly learned quite that quickly. But that’s another article.
With that caveat, i do believe that there is one big activity that can help maintain your child’s reading level in school that’s fun for everyone.
Maintaining or improving reading skills is done simply by reading.
As a tutor, I see a lot of students who have a poor reading ability, weak comprehension, and limited ability to make connections or inferences. I could offer you link after link of worksheets that promise to improve this reading ability or that but I don’t think they’d be all that helpful. And they certainly wouldn’t be fun. If you and your kid are anything like most of the rest of us we quit doing things that are not fun, that don’t have to be done, at the first possible second. Once we’re done with school, reading is one of the first things that goes out the window. Reading for fun usually goes out long before we leave school.
So, I repeat, the best way to improve reading is to read.
So what should my kid be reading?
Whatever she wants.
I am not a proponent of forcing a well rounded bookshelf on anyone, especially a child. If the only thing your child is interested in reading about is dinosaurs then let her read about dinosaurs. Or basketball. Or Nancy Drew. Whatever! . Search for books that tickle his interest. Pushing kids to read what you think they should read only makes resistant readers. By all means, make suggestions of things you think may be interesting (key word is interesting) but let your kid refuse to read your suggestions if he wants. I can pretty much promise that his interests will shift and branch over time. Growing up I, personally, went through a Bobsey Twins phase, a biography of important women phase, a fantasy/science fiction phase and a Dana Girls phase, to name just a few
Let nature take its course that way and you’ll have a happier reader.
Another thing that you can do to encourage a curious reader is to ask questions. Genuine questions that allow your child to see that you are interested in what she is interested in. Allow her to be the expert at the level that she is. Be curious yourself, like you are talking to a friend about the book he is reading. You know what that’s like, when someone engages with things that fascinate you. Give your child that gift. There is no better way to feel good about something than to have someone you like, a lot, really take an interest in it on your behalf. It’s about the best way I know to make reading more fun.
Now there are other areas that are known for summer slump problems. Sign up to my email list to make sure that you catch it when I write about them.
Oh, one more question. Are you a reader? Do you talk about what you’re reading and how interesting it is with your kids? If you don’t think reading is really important your kids will pick up on that by what you do. Just a thought.
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