I’m thrilled summer is here! Going to the pool, soaking up some sun, staying home, later evenings, travel and exploring…. even though it’s hot, it’s such a wonderful time of the year. It can also be long and sometimes tough on families whose kids are now home with nothing to do! So it is extremely helpful to have a stash of new books, ready to go, to maintain interest during the summer.
Did you know there’s such a thing as a “Summer Brain Slide”?
What is the Summer Slide?
If we don’t continue to read, and therefore take a 3 month break from learning, research has shown up to three months of reading REGRESSION when the new school year begins again! That means three months of make-up work to do before being able to move forward in reading in the new school year. In order to fight back, we turn off the screens, and make reading FUN again.
So, what is in my Summer Survival Kit??
1. Something to Read:
Well, obviously, something to read is on the list! But here’s what I mean–
Allow your child the chance to choose their own reading material that is completely for fun but will keep them engaged. If your child is reading on a 3rd grade level, picking one picture book is not what I mean. Grabbing a chapter book series that he can read throughout the summer is exactly what I mean! ANYTHING that engages a child and encourages them to read is good reading! The goal is not that they immediately read the Classics, but that they work up to the bigger stuff by falling in love with reading what is fun for them first.
These are just a few examples of some wonderful bits of reading material that can last for the whole summer and be exactly the interest of your child, at whatever age or reading level they are. Go ahead and get a full set, so they feel motivated to keep on reading!
2. Something to Do:
There will be plenty of moments of down time this summer. Having books on hand that are easy to take on the go or pull out at home are excellent ways to keep kids going, interested, and to throw out the “I’m BORED!” phrase out the window!!
PS. Most of the time the activity books are also teaching something… win win!
(Shh… don’t tell the kids!)
3. Something to Try:
Ask your kids, “What new skill would you like to try to learn this summer?”
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on classes. You can do a ton right from home with tools like these! Allow them the pride of accomplishing something like this for themselves this summer!
4. Something to Learn:
Ultimately, it’s FUN to keep learning, when there’s fun books to learn with, and that is what we want for the summer! I want my kids to REST and to PLAY really well. But they are also very curious! I want to give them tools to be able to go read about something on their own that they want to know about!
So talk to your kids about their interests, if they’re old enough, and pick a book they can really learn from that they can read again and again and again over the summer. These are the kind of books that keep my kids reading for a long time and coming back again and again!
Special Tip: Consider buying a learning book about the subject in which DAD or GRANDPA works for a Father’s Day gift. Seriously!! It may seem funny at first to buy Dad a children’s book, but step back and watch the magic when he realizes he can now show his kids what he does on their level. Then watch a little longer as you take a break while they read and read together! It’s priceless!
5. Something to Relax:
We believe in PLAY. Play hard, rest hard. It helps our kids GROW. That’s why reading our books doesn’t feel forced, it fits right in with both playing and resting.
Did you know that art is now an official form of therapy in many hospitals? Art therapists will bring forms of art as relaxation tools for patients to relieve stress and calm their bodies. Not only does it provide a sense of quiet, it also allows for free creativity.
Why is creativity important? It gives a person the freedom to try something new, even if it fails. It gives that person the available space to not do something perfectly, and therefore figure out how to do it better. Creativity is the foundation of invention, bravery, taking leadership, feeling ownership. These are all attributes of leaders and successful learners. So pull out those art books or just good old imaginative FUN reading, and allow the creativity and relaxation to flow. It’s GOOD!!!
**PS. I love our “SOUNDS” books for calm down time. If your kids benefit from having a short term “calm down” spot, take a peek into our “Garden Sounds”, “Farm Sounds”, “Night Sounds” and “Jungle Sounds” series.
Each of these categories mentioned has oodles of options that can be tailored to your child’s interests. Contact me for any questions you have, or browse books online!
One sure-fire way to make sure your kids are reading this summer is to participate in a Summer Reading Challenge! I’ll be hosting one again this summer over on Facebook, or I can chat with you about how you can do it with your family if Facebook isn’t your thing. If you’d like to know more, be sure to click here join our VIP group and let me know you’re interested!
Happy Summer Reading!