Summer Reading: Use it or Lose it!Published by: Joshua Huihui | Date: May : 23 : 2011 | Categories: Huntington Beach 1
Summer is approaching! To most children, this means three solid months of swimming, playing video games, camping, hanging out with friends, BBQing, doing “stuff” and having general fun in the sun. Children need, and deserve, time to decompress and distance themselves from the academic realm. However, during the summer, children still need to stimulate their minds.
So what will your young mind do this summer to stimulate the synapses and continue learning outside the four walls of the classroom?
Research shows that the key to ending summer reading loss is finding “novel” ways for children to enrich their lives through reading. This summer, why not make sharing books part of your family’s summer fun?
Educators, parents, and literacy experts agree that it is imperative to intellectual growth for children to read books over the summer. When you read books, important language skills continue to develop and analytical skills are honed. Children will cultivate critical thinking skills and encourage meaningful connections and retain vital information.
When choosing summer reading with your child, it is essential to keep your child’s grade level in mind. If a child reads too far below their grade level, they may become bored with the idea of reading because they are no longer challenged by the material. Conversely, if a child chooses a book beyond their understanding, they will become frustrated and the flame of desire (to read) may blow out for ever.
Children can have anxiety about the amount of reading they have to look forward to the next year. By choosing a book that they are going to read during the school year, children can get a jump on the required reading. This will help them gain confidence in their own abilities and prepare them for the coming year.
Below is a link to the California Department of Education’s searchable list of Recommended Literature for 6th-12th graders:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/rl/ll/ap/litsearch.asp (scroll down to search by grade & genre)
Summer reading is a must, both for growth and as a way to reduce anxiety for reading in the next school year. Children need to stimulate their minds beyond the video game, and reading will prepare the child for the next year’s academic rigors.
Erin “EJ” Johnson
English/History Teacher and Mentor
Fusion Academy Huntington Beach