Stapleton Pediatrics Blog

Continue to Make Reading a Priority

Every year I start summer with the best of intentions, envisioning many trips to the library and planning on fiercely protecting our boys’ pre-bedtime reading hour. However, we have reached the halfway point of this summer and I have fallen short of my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, my boys have opened some books and we have read on many nights, but I have noticed that I am letting the pool, camps and evening outside playtime encroach on their reading time. While that play is important, I’ve taken this mid-summer check-point as a time to remind myself (and parents like me) that I don’t want my children to suffer from the summer reading setback.

Looking for support, I opened an email from my 5 year old’s ECE teacher and reread an article she had attached, “Summer Reading Loss.” The most important summary points for me were:

  • Reading over the summer can increase reading proficiency by one month, however children who don’t read regularly can lose 2-3 months of reading development.
  • Children do better if they are allowed to choose the books they read (e.g. pop culture books).
  • Summer reading is as effective as summer school. I also found motivation in the June 2014 American

Academy of Pediatrics article, “Parents who read to their children nurture more than literacy skills.” The article reports, “Reading proficiency by third grade is the most significant predictor of high school graduation and career success.” After reading articles like these, I set out to do a little better.

Being a realistic mom and remembering myself the joy of playing outside on summer evenings, I now realize that I need to rethink the timing of my boys’ reading hour. Whichever time our family agrees upon (e.g., during the insane heat of the midsummer’s day), I am once again committed to protecting this vital reading downtime. In addition, and this one is hard for me, I am trying to let my boys dictate the books we read. I admit that I find the Madeline series much more enjoyable than they do; however, they prefer to review, ad nauseam, the fighting statistics of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Who bought that book (Dad)?

I hope this helps keep us all on track in our collective effort to raise good readers. Below are some reading links that I found helpful, including the articles referenced above.
–Dr. Amy Nash

Here are some additional resources for you:
American Academy of Pediatrics News
The Horn Book Guide Online
Children's Book Council
NSTA- National Science Teachers Association
NSTA- Recommendations
Summer Reading Loss
Posted: 7/13/2016 5:26:25 PM by Stapleton Peds | with 0 comments
Filed under: school, summer

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