I'm helping the Read Aloud campaign to spread their message in support of reading aloud this summer. The image to the left is the first of several quick, visual messages that I'll be sharing over the next few weeks. This message is to SEIZE THE SUMMER!
Children who don't read during the summer months can see their reading levels slide significantly. Parents can help to combat this through the simple and pleasurable act of reading aloud to their kids. The Read Aloud campaign proposes that families read aloud for 15 minutes every day, to all children. They aim "to make reading aloud every day for 15 minutes the new parenting standard, and thereby change the face of education in this country."
But let's not just think of it like a prescription. We should be seizing the summer as an opportunity to show our kids just how enjoyable reading can be, together and separately. With kids out of school, and many parents taking extra vacation time, with families traveling together, and relatives visiting, there are so many opportunities to read aloud. Here are some ideas for reading aloud together:
- Read books aloud during car trips (or use audiobooks if, like me, you can't read in the car).
- Read outside in a tent (or inside in a tent, if it's 100 degrees where you are this week).
- Sit at the base of a good climbing tree, and let your child listen and climb at the same time.
- Since you don't have to rush off to school, sit on the couch and read in your pajamas after breakfast.
- Dig out your childhood favorites, and ask Grandma or Grandpa to read them to your child.
Of course, it's not all about the reading aloud. While that's important for a number of reasons (see Read Aloud's graphic here), so is giving your child time to sit and read (whatever he wants). And so is letting your child see you sitting quietly reading (thus modeling the enjoyment of reading).
Seize the summer! Read to your kids. Read in front of your kids. Buy your kids books. Go to the library. All of these things will help to get your child ready for school in the fall, while giving her a summer to remember in the meantime.
This post © 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.