“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”–Proverbs 22:6
Depending on where you are located, summer break is either here or right around the corner. While we may be excited about outdoor living, family vacation, and road trips, we want to remind you of the importance of making sure our kiddos don’t lose what they’ve learned during the school year.
WHY SUMMER READING IS IMPORTANT
Since our little ones have been entrusted to us by the Lord, it’s important that we are good stewards of their development. This doesn’t mean that they have to be 4.0 students, but it does mean that we should encourage them to use the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given them.
Studies show that students lose two months of reading skills over the summer. In fact, one study showed that children grades 2–9 lost 25–30% of school-year learning over one summer. And reading is consequential: 3rd graders who can’t read are 4 times less likely to graduate by age 18 vs. a reading proficient 3rd-grade reader.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Mommas, if you’re anything like us, you’d move mountains to make sure your kid has the best life that you’re able to provide. The good news: keeping your little ones’ minds sharp is easier than moving mountains.
Here are nine ideas for adding lots of reading to your summer plans:
- Join a summer reading challenge. Your family may enjoy the 100-Day Summer Bible Reading Plan or choosing books from one of our summer reading lists. (Preschool-Kindergarten, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5).
- Friendly sibling competition. If you have siblings in your house, give them an opportunity to see who can read the most books over a period of time.
- Hit the library. The library is a fun, low-cost family outing. Encourage your kids to pick out a couple of books to read while you’re at the library and urge them to choose a book or two to take home.
- On the road and in the sky. It’s no fun to travel with kids who continue to nag each other – and you. Help ease their boredom by encouraging them to bring a couple of books along for the ride.
- Create a book jar. Fill a jar with book titles. Any time your child utters the words, “I’m bored,” have them pick a book to read from the jar.
- Book BINGO. If your child tends to be a multitasker or need a different type of motivation, try book BINGO. Google “book BINGO” and you’ll find tons of options and instructions.
- Make flashcards. If your little one loves to color or paint, they may love making flashcards for sight words and vocabulary words they learn from their favorite books.
- Turn books into skits. Transform into your favorite characters and put on a full production in your living room or backyard.
- Limit technology. We know that this is a bit of a no-brainer, but we still feel compelled to mention it. With so much time on our kiddos’ hands, it can be tempting to allow our children to spend more time on phones, tablets, and televisions. Instead, keep reading opportunities—like the ones listed here—available in place of screens!