principalaim

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Making Time for Summer Reading!

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:

  • Include books that you can read aloud with your child. Our kiddos love to hear a good story, even our fourth graders. This also allows you to model good reading.
  • Visit a library. This will also give students a chance to see others enjoying books. Likewise, a visit to the library can provide a quiet, relaxing environment for you and your child to sit and read. Talking to your local librarian is also a great way to find really good books for the summer.
  • Just like during the school year, try to build reading time into your plans for the summer. This way you can help students keep up with a “reading” routine. Remember, it is summer so allow for some flexibility and spontaneity when it comes to reading as well.
  • Discuss the stories you are reading. Whether you are reading or your child is doing the reading, make sure you talk about the story together. In order to get to the meaning or the heart of any story, you have to build in time to have a conversation about what you’ve read. Share what you liked about the story, what you’ve learned, or maybe even how the story helped you or changed your perspective about a specific topic. You might even have a conversation during a drive to the beach about your favorite parts of the story and why.

The most important tip that I can provide for parents during the summer regarding reading is to make it fun!

tlb

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About principalaim

Head of Lower School, Louisville Collegiate School

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2013 by in Summer Reading and tagged , , , , .
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