Preventing the Summer Slide

Even though it is almost the end of July, it is not too late to squeeze in some summer reading with your kids.  A number of studies have shown that children’s reading skills decline during the summer months, but that doesn’t mean we (as parents) are powerless to do anything about it.  Here are a few ways to get kids excited about reading during their summer vacation.

One of my favorite ways to keep my boys reading and writing during the summer months is giving them each a “Mommy and Me Journal“.  I buy inexpensive journals and give them to my 6 year old and my 7 year old.  We spend all summer writing secret notes back and forth about our summer adventures.

Another great way to ensure everyone keeps reading is to put it in the schedule.  Summer can be a busy time, so setting aside a specific time for reading is helpful.  In our house, the boys get to read for half an hour past their bedtime each night.

It is also important to make sure there are always a variety of books available to read.  Visit the library often and choose books that are at the right level for the child.  (Canadian Living has a great list of 10 Great Canadian Summer Books for Kids that you can find here.)  Choose books that include topics, themes or characters that interest them, and mix it up by reading different types of literature (e.g. books, magazines, comic books, cookbooks, ebooks, etc.)

Another fun idea is to take reading outside.  Lay a blanket in the backyard, take a book to the beach, sit in a lawn chair or build a simple outdoor reading tent/fort.  Reading a book outside can be a fun summer activity.

Don’t forget, it is also important to set an example for your children.  Read in front of your kids, and curl up on the couch and spend some time reading to them.

Keep reading!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)