Summer shouldn't mean taking a break from learning,
especially reading. Studies show that most students
experience a loss of reading skills over the summer months, but children who continue to read actually gain skills. Efforts should be made during the summer to help children sustain reading skills, practice reading and read for enjoyment.
Taking the time to read with your child can help you evaluate your child's reading skills.
Educators consider summer reading very important in
developing life-long reading habits, in maintaining literacy skills and in promoting reading for pleasure. Studies have repeatedly shown that children who continue to read during the summer months perform better when school resumes in the fall.
Research has also shown that when parents are actively
involved in learning at home, their children become more successful in and out of school.
(Based on a feature article written for the May 2003 issue of Classroom
Connect Newsletter, The K-12 Educators' Guide to the Internet)
Why Do Summer Reading? It increases:
Some Tips for Summer Reading:
· Have plenty of books, books on tape, magazines,
and other reading material around for kids to read.
Keep books in the car and make sure a good book gets
tucked into sports bags and campers' backpacks.
· Get your child his own library card. Take or allow him to go to the library often and browse for books and enjoy special activities.
· Help your child select books on topics he is interested in and on his reading level. A simple rule of thumb for helping your child select books at his reading level is to have them choose a page in the book (not the first one) and read it. If he doesn't know five or more of the words, then the book is too hard for pleasure reading.
· Connect reading with other summer activities.
For example, read books about places you will go over the summer or things you will be doing. Perhaps you will visit the beach or go camping; there are
many good books about the beach and camping!
- Set goals and reward reading. Reward reading with more reading. If your child finishes one book, stop by the store and let him pick out another.
- Let your kids see you read. Read the newspaper over your morning coffee, take a magazine from the rack in a doctor's office while you wait, and stuff a paperback into your purse, pocket, or briefcase. Your kids will catch on to the fact that reading is something you like to do in your spare time.
- Make reading together fun and memorable. Even if your child is a super reader, they still love to be read too. You may want to use different voices for different characters when you read to your child. Reading together is a time for closeness and cuddling - another way to show your love as a caring adult. Children love to read letters and notes you write them.
- Read it, then do it. Does your child want to learn magic tricks? Juggling? Computer games? There's sure to be a book that can help him. Have your child read the instructions and then give it a try.
LEARNING WITH COMIC STRIPS
Comic strip characters can help your child become a better reader and writer and logical thinker.
Once Upon a Time… Beginning readers will enjoy using the comic’s easy-to-follow story telling guides. Your child can tell about what’s happening in each panel, building a story as he or she goes
from scene to scene. In selecting a strip for this activity, try to find one where there is plenty of action and the pictures, not the dialogue, carry the story.
Comics also make wonderful read-aloud material.
Occasionally, you may want to cover the last panel of a strip and have your child guess the conclusion. Encouraging your child to anticipate events provides practice in perhaps the most important of all reading skills. To make any predictions, your child must clearly and logically think through what just happened – and that is the key to reading comprehension.
Puzzles and Riddles…
To help develop logical skills, cut a comic strip apart into separate panels. While the panels are still in order, number them on the back in sequence. After you mix the order of panels, ask your child to reconstruct the original sequence. The numbers on the back can serve as an answer key, but any order your child presents that makes sense should be considered correct.
Some comic strips use a play-on-words to get their laughs. A favorite is the rhyming riddle: What’s Garfield called when he’s put on too much weight? Answer: Fat Cat. These are fun to solve, but they’re even more fun (and worthwhile) to invent. The only rule is that the riddle must be answered with a two-word rhyme. It’s easiest to start with the answer (Bear
chair) and work back to the definition (What does a grizzly sit on?) Involve the whole family, and Sunday morning will never be the same again.
Ms. Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Coordinator