"Books are like amusement parks; sometimes you’ve got to let your kids choose the ride."
-Newbery Award-winning children’s author Kwame Alexander
As June approaches, we begin our annual musings over summer reading and the research concerning its importance. Just as we ask children to read on a daily basis throughout the school year, we also encourage this routine during the summer months. Schools often cite the “summer slide” as a concern, and while there is research to support reading or learning loss over the summer months, there are a variety of factors that contribute to it.
While real, the summer slide is not a motivator for joyful, engaged reading, and it certainly isn’t, nor should it be, on the minds of young children whose reading skills are just emerging. We want these early experiences with books to inspire and evoke wonder rather than cause panic or fear. Children’s desire to read comes from the enjoyment they glean from the experience, the adults they observe modeling the habit, the access they have to just-right, high-interest books and the routines and habits that encourage them to plan, prioritize, sustain attention, manage time and persist to achieve particular goals.
Once the school year ends and you begin to settle into your summer routines, take time to consider where summer reading fits in. With older children, engage them in the conversation and planning. They can help determine the best time(s) of day for reading, where they are most comfortable and able to sustain their attention and how the reading fits into their summer schedule.
Read Emily Miller's blog post on the importance of Summer Reading.