Yes, parents, there is a magic formula to keep your kids reading through the summer

(Washington Post) Yes, parents, there really is a magic formula to keep your kids reading through the summer and beyond. The secret ingredient? You.

Research shows that reading during the summer helps kids minimize the “summer slide,” the drop-off in reading skills that non-summer readers experience at the start of a new school year. Troublingly, the recent “Kids and Family Reading Report,” a biennial survey done by Scholastic, a publishing and media company, showed that among kids ages 9-11, 14 percent read no books during the summer of 2018, compared with 7 percent in 2016. Among kids ages 15-17, 32 percent read no books last summer, compared with 22 percent in 2016.

You can help them find that joy. In the midst of the craziness of daily life — and the distractions of screens and so much else — it’s a challenge for parents to make reading a pleasurable priority in their family’s life. But summertime actually is a perfect — and crucial — time to experiment with some of the following strategies, recommended by children’s librarians and reading experts.

Expand the definition of reading

Allow kids to pick their reading format. Audiobooks and e-readers can be gateways to reading for some kids. For example, audiobooks allow kids to listen to books that might otherwise be too hard for them; they’re also perfect for fidgety kids, who can do other activities, like drawing, while listening. E-readers, meanwhile, work well for young readers with learning disabilities who may need adjustable print size and text-to-speech features, as well as for kids who just love adding some tech to their reading.

But summer reading need not be a hard sell to kids. That same survey found that nearly 60 percent of kids ages 6-17 agreed with the statement: “I really enjoy reading books over the summer.”

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Publication:      The Washington Post
Author:             Karen MacPherson
Publish Date:   5.23.2019