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Encourage Reading & Avoid “Summer Slump”

Why is reading so important during summer break?

Reading opens so many doors for children and is helpful in so many aspects of a child’s growth. Reading is something that stays with you through your life. Storytelling is magical and kids love storytelling because it allows their minds to expand and create new experiences.

As a parent, you are an important educator in your child’s life, just as important as his or her teacher. A child is never too young to start reading and looking at books. Give them the gift of gaining invaluable literacy skills through reading.

You can boost their potential to learn just by making reading an integral part of their life. Reading is key for speech and communication development, and is also a fun way to work on concentration and discipline. It’s a great routine to start young, and I especially love cuddling up after a long day and reading together before bed. It really helps to calm them down and can trigger their brain to think, “OK, it’s almost time for me to sleep.”

Why should you make reading a priority?

  1. Parent-child bond
  2. Enhanced vocabulary
  3. Curiosity
  4. Academic excellence
  5. Learning through examples
  6. Creativity through storytelling

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Are “summer slump” & “brain drain” really something to worry about?

Yes! The majority of kids need help structuring their time during summer break. Without educational activities, it’s harder for them to recover what they’ve learned when they go back to class.

There are tons of studies (dating back to over 100 years!) indicating that kids forget what they learned during the school year. Did you know that most kids lose about two months of math skills over the summer?

“Children who lack amenities such as summer travel with their families, tutors, summer camps and proper nutrition are significantly less likely to regain the lost skills; low-income kids lose out most when it comes to the “summer brain drain.” Another thing to keep in mind: most children gain weight more rapidly during the summer break – this is especially true for children inclined to obesity.” [empoweringparents.com]

Take the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and avoid “summer slump.” This will keep them engaged and using their minds to explore, while not being overwhelmed with schoolwork. Reading should be fun. Take trips to your local library and let them pick out some books of their choosing. Download the Reading Timer App on Scholastic’s site and make it exciting. Make a healthy competition between siblings to see who can read the most books. If they read X amount of minutes this month, you will buy them a book of their choosing at the bookstore and perhaps a frozen yogurt too! 🙂

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Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT

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