How Much Summer Reading Is Too Much?
Seeking advice from Mahwah parents
How do you work out summer reading with your kids? Many parents don’t want their kids to completely forget about schoolwork during the summer, but also want to allow time for physical activity, socialization, and relaxation.
What are your thoughts on summer reading?
Mom's Council member Lauren Rosen had the following to say:
"Who says you can’t enjoy summer while preparing for the next school year? I am certain that you can do both. Research shows that kids lose quite a bit of ground academically through the summer months. It is critical for students to read consistently throughout the summer to maintain and even build on those hard earned skills gained throughout the school year.
There are many ways to make reading fun, enticing, and not a chore. These ways vary based on age and interest levels. Some things that I have done with my children are suggested below:
- Sign up for a program in the library. The library offers wonderful age-based programs that range from interactive and fun to independent with reading incentives and challenges.
- Go to a Book Store. Go on a really hot day to get out of the heat or a rainy day. Look through magazines, cook books, high interest books like travel, sports, or hobbies. Spark conversation to help your child develop an interest. Ask for store support. I used to give my kids gift certificates to a book store to use over the summer. We also went to book stores that were in fun towns with a plan to go for ice cream or lunch after. If your child purchases a book he/she likes, (s)he is more likely to read it.
- Make reading a fun challenge at home. Create a chart and place it in the kitchen or a common area to display. Challenge the kids and adults in the house to “take the reading challenge”. Decide upon the winning prize as a family. Keep the challenge short range so there can be more than one winner per summer.
- Take your books or reading materials on the road. Model and encourage your child to read at the beach or at the pool. Listen to books on tape in the car. Or if you go on vacation, you can read in the airport or even the plane.
- Look for reading programs in non-reading establishments. Last year, Commerce Bank had a wonderful summer reading program for kids. If your child opened a savings account and read a certain amount of books, they would reward you with a few dollars to deposit.
- Make reading fun and social. Share the newspaper or magazines with your child. Talk it up!
- Model your enjoyment of reading and chances are, you’ll get them hooked in no time. The most important thing is to keep kids reading a little bit each day throughout the entire summer. You’d be surprised how much easier your child transitions back into academics in September."