As we finish out this crazy school year, it is time to think about how important it will be for you to communicate some summer reading reminders to the families in your classroom.
Numbers get put out there from various studies, but on average, children loose about 20-25% of what they learned about reading during the school year. Younger children tend to lose more knowledge because what they know is not as “solid”. They haven’t been practicing their reading skills for as long as upper elementary children. Basic reading skills and strategies aren’t hard to maintain over the summer or during any time away from school when children continue to read.
Here are six simple summer reading reminders to share with parents in your end of year communication:
1. Access e books through the library as often as you want. This is a free service but there are some limits to how many books you can check out at any one time. Since it doesn’t involve a trip to the library, you can rotate books often.
2. As soon as the library reopens, get your child to the children’s section of the library and let them choose books to read. Choose is an important word! It doesn’t matter if your child is reading easy picture books or books you wouldn’t pick for them. Reading doesn’t always mean reading books either. Children can check out magazines too. What matters is that your child reads! Your child can chat with the librarian virtually or in person for some ideas of fun things to read. Keep in mind that using e books doesn’t need to stop when the library opens.
3. Children need to see their parents reading, so get some books or magazines for yourself too. Especially younger children want to do things that grown-ups do. Lead by example!
4. Talk with your child about what you are reading… “Did you know that Disney is having another sing along on Saturday? I read that today in my news-feed. We need to be sure and join in. What did you read about today?”
5. Take a short bit of time each day to read aloud to your child. Read things to your child that he is interested in but may not be able to read easily himself. There is great information on the back of the cereal box! Make comments as you read, modeling what you are thinking. Simple comments like “WOW, I didn’t know that falcons can fly faster
than cheetahs can run” spark further interest in new topics.
6. Listening to your child read is important too. Read aloud books should be easy but occasionally there will be a word your child doesn’t know. Here are some quick things to say or do when your child comes to an unknown word:
📌 Wait! Give your child 5 or 10 seconds to think about the word on his own. Your child needs to know you won’t just tell them an unknown word every time, that you have confidence he has some ways to figure it out.
📌Ask “What do your think the word could be?” if you get the age-old shoulder shrug then say, “What would make sense and sound right to you there?” Or, “Maybe rereading will help.”
📌Or ask, “What word would make sense and start with those letters?” Then say, “See if that works.” Notice that saying, “Sound it out.” is not on the suggestion list. There are many words that can’t be sounded out and as a parent you don’t really know the phonics skills that have been taught at school. Avoid that comment unless you are sure the child knows the phonics skill to apply.
📌 If a word is particularly difficult, just tell the word so that your child doesn’t lose track of what the reading is about. After all, the reason we read is to make sense of the story.
📌 Last, praise for a good try is always important. Start with the language “I like the way you (put in whatever the child tried to do).” This will encourage the independence you are looking for in your child as a reader!
I hope that you have enjoyed this article about these summer reading reminders!