Summer is finally here, and we know our ASA students are enjoying their first week of vacation with plenty of lounging around and enjoying having nothing to do. However, we also know that can get old quickly, and students will be looking for ways to stay engaged during the remaining weeks of their break. While it can be easy to allow time on a cell phone, a tablet, or a computer to take over, few options will help them grow the way that a good book can. Reading isn’t just important to boost reading fluency and comprehension skills, but also to develop language, expand knowledge of various subjects, and open up other worlds to your student.
Children of all ages, from preschool to high school, should be continually reading to enhance their education all year long. Here at All Saints Academy, we provide students with required reading assignments over their summer break, and we provide parents with suggested reading lists, which includes information about using reading to target learning at your student’s specific level. However, there are a few common factors among all grade levels:
- Reading boosts language and vocabulary. From the youngest kindergarteners just learning to sound out basic words, to the high school graduate heading to college, reading offers continual exposure to language development and new vocabulary. Younger students will be learning to recognize the correlation between spoken language and written language (what the words they say look like written on paper) and older students will be exposed to words they might not know. This is a great time to encourage them to look up the meanings, find out the background of any unknown vocabulary, and perhaps even keep a log of new words they are exposed to over the summer. Children who are voracious readers have a much larger vocabulary to pull from when writing and speaking.
- Reading creates thinkers. Not only are students exposed to plenty of new vocabulary when reading, but they are also exposed to new information, other cultures, historical figures, and more. Entire worlds can open up to a child within the pages of a book, allowing them endless discovery of all types of subjects. Few things develop thinking skills like reading a variety of books and materials since children aren’t being taught how or what to think, but rather are being given information and allowed to process and investigate it on their own.
- Reading enhances prior knowledge. While your child gleaned much information over the previous school year, he or she likely had subjects that they would have enjoyed studying in more depth, or perhaps they struggled with something that didn’t engage them and you want to help them connect with it in a better way. Books are a wonderful way to enhance any subject. If your student was struggling with a particular time period being studied in history, historical fiction is a fantastic supplement to help them dive in and really grasp the topic. Did your student really enjoy a particular piece of literature used in the curriculum this past year? Look for similar works by different authors, or find more works by the same author, to help them further develop their reading skills and connect them with what they learned during the school year.
We hope these tips help you as you plan for summer vacation. There is no better way to bust boredom than a good book! We encourage you to frequent the local libraries this summer, or encourage your children to further explore their home library. All Saints Academy is proud to work alongside parents and caregivers to help each of our students reach full potential. We can’t wait to see our students back here in the Fall and hear about their reading adventures over summer break!