Summer is upon us once again, and that means dusting off my annual tip list to help stop the summer slide. Studies have shown that children who don’t read over the summer can lose many months of reading progress. So I've put together my favorite tips because I didn’t want kids to lose the reading skills over the summer they worked so hard to develop in school last year. It's a perfect time when they are getting out of school to have these in your toolbox to share with them.
In addition to these tips I have some activity sheets you can download too. Plus a video called "Sally's Poor Brain", written by Andrea E. Langholff from Wisconsin, who was a finalist in my annual writing contest a few years back. I have chosen this story to share with kids because of its witty lesson about a brain that literally walks away in search of intellectual stimulation. Some important food for thought!
Here are some of my tried and true ideas from past years:
- Reading simple instructions for a task is a great way to improve comprehension skills. I've created lots of fun things you and your child can make. Fans of “Alice in Wonderland” will love the easy and clever homemade toys and games you can make with materials most people have sitting around the house. Download Alice_guide for easy instructions. Also check out Captone Kids. They have all kinds of fun maker activities on their site.
- Get a public library card. It’s FREE, and most libraries have fun summer and after-school activities (as well as books full of wonderful stories and ideas from the smartest people who ever lived.) You can also find good educational videos and audio books at the library. I have a special place in her heart for librarians, so tell them Mrs. P sent you!
- Making handmade books out of your child’s story is a great way to nurture a life-long love for books. You can create simple books in many ways, and the materials can usually be found around the house. I have put together a fun bookmaking activity. You can Download Mrsp_bookmaking to help you get started. Asking your child to tell you a story helps to develop an active mind. Kids are naturally creative; your job is to give them an environment that will let their imaginations flourish.
- Keep a Reading Log. Keep track of the books your child has read with my Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal Download Mrsp_readinglog. There's even a place for them to color. Reading logs recognize the value of reading every day and can act as a simple reminder. And remember, all reading counts, whether you are being read to, reading aloud, or just by yourself.
- Download a free poster of Mrs. P or another one of your child’s favorite celebrities from Get Caught Reading Hanging one of these colorful posters in your child’s room will remind them “Reading is cool and so are you!”
- Encourage Writing. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand; developing skills for one always helps with the other. Encouraging your students to make up and tell you a story can be an excellent work-out for the imagination – and also a great class project. And if they come up with an idea they really like, enter your K-4 class stories in my Be-A-Famous-Writer Contest. The contest opens every September for entries so mark it on your calendar!
- Enjoy an audiobook. Audiobooks help develop literacy skills. You can enjoy them anywhere too! I love Tales2GO because kids can also use them at school.
Enjoy "Sally's Poor Brain"