By Laurel Shockley, Cindy Shaw, and Kim Simpson
Summer is right around the corner and everyone is making plans to vacation, swim, play, and visit friends. Let’s talk about the reading plans for this summer.
We know that children who do not read over the summer lose significant academic ground. For this reason, we encourage children to read consistently all summer. Giving children choice in what they read positively affects their lifelong reading habits. That is our goal.
So, we are not providing a list of WHAT to read; we are giving you the keys for a summer reading adventure with your child!
Here's what you need:
- Time to read: Set aside time daily for your child (and yourself) to read. Brainstorm additional times that would be perfect for a little extra reading, such as car trips or rainy days.
- Access to books and other reading materials: We must make sure that every child has access to engaging reading material over the summer. The Huntsville Public Library is a wonderful resource with branches in all areas of our city. Become a regular! Take advantage of all the library has to offer.
- Choice! Opportunities and encouragement for students to self-select their summer reading materials should be provided. Providing children choice in what they read fosters engagement and increases reading motivation, interest and effort. Children who are given choice for summer reading read more and report higher reading engagement and motivation after summer ends.
- Family and community involvement: Parents who read and share reading with their children influence children’s future reading habits. Teachers who are engaged with reading are more successful at engaging students with reading. Keep reading to see how we will create this community of reading support together!
Lower School Summer Reading guidelines are simple:
- Start on May 24. We are setting our start date as the first day of summer, May 24. The end date is the last day of summer before school begins, August 6.
- Set goals. Help your child set a reading goal and set one for yourself if you wish! Will it be to read more non-fiction books, find a book series to read, read a picture book a day? The possibilities are endless, and when a child has a part in creating that goal, motivation and follow-through are much stronger.
- Read! Any book qualifies, including picture books, nonfiction, how-to, audio books, graphic novels, poetry collections, magazines, etc.
- Share your reading. Parents can help kids share their reading adventures through our private Facebook group set up for this purpose. Randolph Lower School parents will need to request to join the group on Facebook. This will be our hub for communication about our reading journeys throughout the summer. Post books your child has enjoyed, make connections to plan book groups (parent books groups too!), share pictures of your family reading during the summer. Teachers will join in with their own reading and suggestions. We can’t wait!
- Widen your reading circle. Everyone is welcome to join the conversation on social media. You can join the conversation on Instagram or Twitter. Use the hashtag #randolphsummerreading along with #rstories18.
If you are looking for great suggestions, check out Lower School Librarian Mrs. Simpson’s Pinterest board, where she collects all kinds of wonderful children’s literature.