With summer on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about the dreaded summer slump, also known as the summer slide. According to a New York Times article ‘This Is Your Brain on Summer’, the average American student loses a month's worth of learning in math and reading each summer.
Read on for tips that can help to keep your child's mind active and encourage learning over the summer break.
Engage your child in a Summer Reading Program
One of the best ways to prevent the summer slide is to enroll your child in a summer reading program. Most local libraries host summer reading programs that offer incentives and prizes, which can make reading more fun and exciting for participants.
Just Right Reader Book Boxes are designed just for this purpose, with lots of Just Right books and a reading kit full of fun and engaging reading activities for summer.
Whichever option you choose, a summer reading program can help your child's mind stay sharp.
Incorporate Reading into Everyday Life
Books aren’t the only way to connect with language: Read out street signs, examine a map. Write and mail a letter, sound out words on food labels at home or the grocery store, practice your sight words on the beach. An older child can look up ingredients for a recipe and make a shopping list. The more you can show language and reading are an integral part of everyday life, the better.
Summer offers kids lots of opportunities to discover new interests, new books, and the pure pleasure of reading just for fun. It is also a great time for hands-on explorations that connect kids to what they're reading, that helps build background knowledge and ensures that children are ready for the challenges of the new school year.
Make a date with the public library or local book readings
Setting a date and sticking to it keeps books, and therefore reading, a priority. Go for story time, get involved in the community events hosted by your local branch, and witness other families reading together. This can be as simple as a 20 minute stop on errand day or elaborate as several hours spent browsing and reading.
If getting to the library is challenging, chances are you can request books online and then pick them up in a few days from your local branch.
Keep a steady supply of books & Establish a reading hour.
Have lots of books available and visible, establish a fun reading corner in the house or in the garden. Get your child involved in setting up a space just for them to read. Don’t fear boredom. Make sure your child has enough time to be still, to get lost in their thoughts and to learn to entertain themselves. Studies show that when age-appropriate books are available at home, within view and accessible, children are more likely to choose reading as an activity. Reading hour for summer involves nothing more than unplugging from all devices and providing a big stack of books.
Read with and read aloud to children
Reading to children has been proven to expand vocabulary, increase focus and attention to detail, and open discussion.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
When encouraging your child to avoid the summer slide by engaging in some of the previously mentioned activities, always remember to be positive and enthusiastic. Support and encouragement go a long way when it comes to summer learning!
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