By Maxine Ramsay
It’s a well known and reported fact, that children’s reading progress can be negatively impacted by not reading regularly over the long summer holidays. Often referred to as the Summer slide, there is evidence that this slide sets back children’s reading levels and puts them further behind going into the new school year. Over time the summer slide can have a cumulative affect which means children don’t reach their full potential as readers.
The good news is that there is plenty that families can do to support children’s reading over the summer break. The following list is not exhaustive and in no particular order:
- Access to books – this can involve trips to the public library, gifting books for Christmas, sharing books among families and friends
- Variety is the key – the more children read the more they will read – books both fiction and non-fiction, comics, newspapers, signposts, posters – all readers need a variety of reading material.
- Time to read – encourage reading as a pastime just as you would any other type of activity
- Reading role models – be seen as a reading adult, read together as a family
- Get caught reading – take photos of your kids reading in their favourite places – at the beach, under a tree, in a tent – this idea has been used as a reading promotion including celebrity get caught reading
- Join a summer reading programme – most public libraries run a summer reading programme which can be a great way to engage children in reading by setting their own goals and receiving incentive rewards along the way. Check out the Summer Reading Club which includes a whole section for parents
- Make reading fun – the most important thing of all is that children enjoy reading over summer, keep it light and fun so they will want to keep reading
So, make a start on keeping your children reading this summer, buy some books, join the library, take time out, and read read read!
Image: Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/aidanmorgan/3537327425/