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When you think about summer what comes to mind? The long awaited family vacation? A great cook out on a hot July day? Or, spending time by the pool a couple of times a week? While these are all worthwhile summer activities, I have one more activity that I’d like to add to your summer list. Reading!
For many families, I know that working with your child to find something really good to read during the summer is a major highlight of the summer. As you begin to think about the best books for your son or daughter to read this summer, here are a few hints that might help make reading an engaging and fun activity for your lower schooler and the entire family.
As you know, reading is so much more than decoding. Reading happens when the reader makes meaning from the printed text. Good readers recognize the words in print, and they can construct understanding from the printed word (meaning or comprehension). However, according to the Department of Education, “reading in its fullest sense involves weaving together word recognition and comprehension in a fluent manner.” For young readers, developing really good comprehension and fluency skills can sometimes be challenging because they are also being asked to explain their thoughts about the reading in conjunction with the world around them. As they continue through the lower school, readers will also be asked to make inferences when reading (a major reading comprehension skill) that for many students can be difficult because young children are very concrete thinkers. This process is a developmental one and children come to it in their own time. This is why reading every day is so important for school age children because it gives them opportunities to work on developing word recognition, comprehension, and fluency simultaneously. It is also why schools across the country strongly encourage families to make reading a major part of their summer plans. How can you make it engaging and fun? Here are some tips to try:
The most important tip that I can provide for parents during the summer regarding reading is to make it fun!