Frank Schofield, superintendent, Logan City School District
As we prepare for the summer, many of us are ready to take a break from the rigors of the school year. I hope you and your children enjoy the coming months of summer vacation, and are looking forward to the longer days and pleasant weather.
While you and your family enjoy the summer vacation, there are a few key things we all can do to ensure our children are ready to begin the next school year with success. Out of all the things, the most important is to continue reading. Research shows that summer reading can make a significant difference in a student’s overall academic achievement, particularly when he or she begins a new school year in the fall.
As parents, there are a number of things you can do to encourage your child to read and develop strong reading and writing skills over the summer. Some of them include:
- Keep different kinds of reading materials at home. To stimulate reading at home, keep reading materials throughout the house, including newspapers, magazines and brochures.
- Keep some fun things on hand, too, like word games, puzzles or the kids’ section of the newspaper. This will increase your child’s access to books and printed material, providing more opportunities to practice reading.
- Encourage your children to learn new words by introducing them to new words every day. Talk about what these words mean and how they are used.
- Help your children select books at the right level. A good way to decide whether your children are reading books at the right reading level is to have them read from a page in the book that they have chosen (any page but the first page). If they are reading smoothly and understand what they are reading, the book is probably at the right level for them. If they make five or more errors in a passage of about 50 words, the level may be too challenging.
- Allow your children to choose their own reading material, including popular fiction, magazines, graphic novels and comic books. Summer is a time when children can discover the joys of reading, and they will be more motivated if they are reading something they enjoy. If you are concerned about the content of what your children are reading, talk with them about their interests and set some guidelines for appropriate choices.
These few tips can help every student maintain the reading skills they have developed while enjoying the break. I hope you have a wonderful break, and look forward to seeing your children again in August.