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Last Updated: Jan 10th, 2011 - 11:11:15


Help Your Kids Catch The Reading Bug This Summer
Part 1

By Kathy Sena
May 10, 2008, 21:01 PST

Help Your Kids Catch The Reading Bug This Summer - Part 1

Help Your Kids Catch the

Reading Bug This Summer

by Kathy Sena


Don't Lose it Use it

Make Summer Reading Fun



Summer was grand when I was a kid in rural Ohio: playing freeze tag with the neighborhood kids; picking blackberries with purple-stained fingers; finding tadpoles in the ditch in front of our house after a hard rain.


But, Thursday mornings were the best. The bookmobile would come rumbling down our street, filled with row after row of adventures and characters I couldn't wait to take home: Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew, The Cat in the Hat, I loved them all, and I knew I had all the lazy, homework-free time I wanted to lose myself in a grand, or just plain silly, story every day of summer vacation.

Don't Lose it Use it

That kind of free, unstructured time for reading is crucial for nurturing a child's reading skills during the summer, says reading expert Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook (4th Ed.) (Penguin U.S.A.; 1995). It's true what they say about use it or lose it, he adds "Reading skills, if they're not used, do drop off by summer's end."


Fortunately, it's not hard to keep a child's vocabulary, reading skills and love of reading flourishing during summer vacation. Here are some tips from the experts: 

Make Summer Reading Fun

Every child should read a minimum of six books, or have six books read to him, during the summer, Trelease says.  Judith Krantz or Tom Clancy!


Summer reading shouldn't be an extension of school, says Trelease. It's OK to read a little junk during the summer. He remembers one of the best parts of his own summer reading as a child. "I chose the book," he says.  It gave me a sense of ownership.


Ask the children's librarian at your local library for a list of age-appropriate books, suggests Lisa Falk, a children's librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library. Many libraries also provide information or workshops on reading aloud to your child, she adds.     More Tips from the Experts4



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