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Reading: Method to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

" Summer on track "

” Summer on track ” (Photo credit: gmayster01 on & off …)

For years, teachers have suggested lists of the best books for children based on their grade and reading level. However, parents should also make sure they have a variety of books/resources, make reading a time to share with others instead of a solo activity, and (most of all) make reading enjoyable. There are lots of sites out there with resources and suggestions of great books to borrow or purchase; however, it’s not just about choosing the best books for children to read. Parents should have lots of books available to read, they should make time for reading to take place, and they should also make those reading opportunities fun. In order to do these things, think about the following:

  1. Make sure there are plenty of books for adults and kids to read. The best way to get kids interested in reading during the summer is for them to see adults reading as well. Make going to the library and/or bookstore a family outing. Start a family book club and/or a neighborhood book club. Do what is necessary to provide a variety of books, magazines, and comics for the entire family to share and read. Audiobooks should also be a resource especially during an extended trip.
  2. Make reading time interactive. Young readers often view reading as a solo activity. They sometimes miss the opportunity reading provides to collaborate and share ideas. When looking for books to read, think about the ways that you can start a conversation with your child about his or her reading. Again, a book club would offer an easy way to talk about what is being read. Moreover, with so many books being made into movies (Diary of the Wimpy Kid is coming to cable television this summer for example), parents have another approach to use when thinking about ways to make reading time interactive.
  3. Make reading fun so that children will choose to read/feel motivated to read. Remember, the objective during the summer is simply to keep children reading. Please do not use this time to advance your child’s reading levels. The goal is to keep them reading what is interesting and fun. It is fine to make suggestions; however, if they resist do not push. Use the summer to have your child explore different genres of books.

It may seem like a simple list but if done correctly, children will enjoy reading and avoid the dreaded brain drain. tlb

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About principalaim

Head of Lower School, Louisville Collegiate School

5 comments on “Reading: Method to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

  1. literarycreature
    July 7, 2013

    Reblogged this on Literary Creature.

  2. fanficfan44
    July 7, 2013

    As a teacher, your suggestions are good but I do have something to add. I have noticed in the past few years books on the summer reading lists that used to be read in the classroom with support. For instance, the Giver is not a book for a 6th or 7th grader to tackle without guidance on the themes and issues involved. The reading level is not difficult…I’m not saying that can’t “read” it, I’m saying that they will not have a depth of understanding of the issues to really appreciate the book. If there are books like that on your child’s book list they really need to be the focus of some dinner time conversation…perhaps a do a read-a-long with your child.

    • principalaim
      July 7, 2013

      I agree 100% with you, but I also acknowledge how hard it has become to create a comprehensive summer reading lists for children at different reading levels. With this in mind, when working with my team each year, we really try to include a range of texts from just right books to books that require some parental support. Ultimately, I want to avoid frustration (for children and parents) as well as ensure children gain a true depth of understanding (and comprehension) when reading over the summer. Thank you for your comment on my blog and check out principalaim again! tlb

  3. flashthecatblog
    July 10, 2013

    I think seeing parents read (and enjoy it!) is a big one. If the grownups never crack a book, why should kids?

    Cindy

  4. Pingback: Principalaim Top 13 Blog Posts of 2013 | principalaim

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