Reading Tips and Summer Slide
School’s out! No more reading??
How will your kids spend the carefree days ahead?
Yippee, more time for TV, video games, play, swimming, sleeping, snacks, sports, and the list goes on.
Did you know that summer can stunt your child’s reading growth? It is commonly called ‘summer slide.’ It is very real. Some children can lose up to two grade levels in their reading ability level! No parent wants that, and take it from a former teacher, your child’s teacher does not want that either!
Research has shown that teachers typically spend the first several weeks of the new school year refreshing material that kids learned the previous school year.
Outdoor play is a great exercise for mind and body in the summer but don’t forget indoor play and exercise. Exercise your child’s reading growth! How can you make this attractive to your child? Trade in their paper and pencils for technology. Help them to become comfortable with using technology for reading! We are in a new learning environment.
Here’s my short list of ideas for avoiding the summer slide. These ideas will reap the most rewards only if parents participate with their child on these sites. Don’t just turn on the computer and set your child free. I also caution that these sites are not meant to be your child’s sole activity for the summer. Limit computer time while making their computer time worthwhile in maintaining or improving their reading ability!
Ready, Set, Go!
First, start with your local library. Most libraries have audiobooks and books online that will read the text to them. Schedule in a library visit at least once a week and check out the offerings.
Free is always exciting! Try these sites for books read aloud while your child follows along with the text. starfall.com; abcya.com; storynory.com [for older kids]; magickeys.com; abcmouse.com; and last but not least, storylineonline.net.
For some super exciting activities to promote literacy skills try this site, theimaginationtree.com. There are some really fun motor activities that are both fun and developmentally valuable to do for early childhood.
Speaking of technology, try making your own audio book by taping yourself and other family members, reading your child’s favorite picture book! And for even more fun, make up your own story or a story both you and your child create, with or without photos or illustrations, and put it all into a Word document or pdf document. Then go online to naturalreaders.com for a free trial download, upload your document and this site will read your story back to you and your child! How cool is that? [Note: I have used this site and as a heads up, make it a pdf document if you intend to insert photos or illustrations. The integrity of your layout will be better maintained than in a Word doc.]
Buckaroo Buckeye says “time to gear up for summer and READ ON!”