Summer is finally here for most students. I know my kids are ready to jump in the pool, play with friends and generally forget about school. That is the biggest problem with the summer, they truly do forget about school. According to the U.S. Department of Education, kids lose about 25% of what they learned during the school year when they are on summer break. It can take teachers up to six week at the beginning of the year to reteach kids what they lost over the summer. In just a few hours a week, you can help prevent summer learning loss with your child in the easiest way possible. Reading!
A Professor Allington at the University of Tennessee discovered that giving kids 12 books that they want to read over the summer was just as effective as summer school in raising reading scores. So how do you make sure you child is reading this summer?
- Let them choose the books. You might want to roll your eyes at what your child picks to read, but letting them pick their own reading material is key in the summer! Professor Allington mentions in his study that letting your child pick what they want helps your child be more motivated to complete their reading and it helps build on the knowledge they already have. Let your child pick a variety of books including magazines, picture books and chapter books.
- Set a timer and have them read 20 minutes a day. If reading 20 minutes a day during the school year helps your child then continuing it into the summer is going to help too!
3. Talk about what your child read with them. After the 20 minutes is over, ask questions about their book. Let them talk about what interests them and where they think the story is going to go next.
4. Read aloud with your kids. Pick a fun book and read it out loud to your kids. Some of my favorite read aloud books are The Boxcar Children, Harry Potter, Ella Enchanted and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. You can find my favorite read aloud chapter books here and my favorite picture books here.
5. Take them to the library. Taking your kids to the library on a regular basis helps them explore new books and find fun new things to read.
6. Let them see you read. One of the biggest factors in whether or not kids will enjoy reading for fun is if they see their parents reading for fun. So read out loud to them and let them see you reading your own books. One of the ways I like to do this is when my child reads for 20 minutes each day, so do I!
7. Set up a reading area. One of my favorite ways to get my kids interested in reading is to make it exciting. I created a easy reading nook that they absolutely love. I was able to throw together a darling reading nook in just a couple of minutes with a Teepee from Teepee Joy. We absolutely LOVE this Teepee! My kids are rough and tumble kind of girls and this Teepee is so well made that it is absolutely perfect for them. They both fit inside comfortably and love using this as a secret hideout as well as a reading nook. My older daughter’s favorite part of the Teepee is the windows that they can open and close and my younger daughter LOVES the shaped pillows especially the star and the moon.
It was incredibly easy to assemble and to move. It is an easy one person job to put it together the first time and can be easy to move every time after. We even take it to friends houses sometimes because it is so easy to bring with us. My girls love it when I move it to our backyard so they can read in the shade while being outside. I love that these Teepees are made by a family owned small business, they have so many options to choose from and everything is sewn with high quality fabrics in their Illinois shop. They are so fast about responding to questions and they want to make sure that you absolutely love your teepee as much as they loved making it.
You can create your own Teepee or pick from their predesigned ones. We have the Turquoise Teepee with the white dots. We also included the optional play mat and pillows to go with it and I am so glad we did. The playmat makes the teepee feel like their own little kingdom in a full tent and makes it perfect for reading on the grass outside. The pillows include a star, moon, square and cloud! If you design your own Teepee you can choose from even more pillow options including crowns, suns and hearts!
Just recently when my 8-year-old was taking her aunt on a tour of their redesigned room, she told her aunt that her bedroom was a “perfect paradise with a reading corner and lots of fun.” I completely agree, this teepee makes their bedroom or our backyard a little piece of heaven. It helps them read and makes their room a little more magic, the perfect combination.
What do you do to help your kids read more in the summer?