As educators, we generally lose contact with our students during the summer months. We may assign them books to read during the summer or little projects here and there to keep them busy, but there really is no way to hold them accountable. Unless… you get the parents involved in their child’s summer reading.
Avoid the Summer Reading Slide
The summer reading slide happens when children go most of the summer without opening a book. They forgo reading and instead treat the time off like one big vacation where learning of any sort is prohibited. The problem with this is when school starts back up, they have lost anywhere from two months to half a school year’s worth of knowledge.
Including Parents in Summer Reading
Reaching out to parents and asking for their assistance in maintaining and growing their child’s knowledge during the summer can be easily accomplished just through a quick email.
They most likely will agree to such a task if the ways to further educate their child can work simply into their schedule. Because of this, it is important to provide them a few options like the ones listed below.
Trips to the Library
By scheduling a family trip to the library just once a week, the kids will be able to walk away with a couple of books they would like to read with every visit. They will be improving their fluency and reading comprehension generally with every book they read. By getting books at their reading level or close to it, they will be learning throughout the summer months.
LightSail’s Parent Portal
The local library is not the only place to get access to thousands of books. LightSail has a comprehensive library with plenty of books to choose from at every reading level. The Parent Portal fully includes the parents in the literacy journey as they can actively recommend books to their children the exact same way that teachers do. In fact, parents can track the student’s reading progress on LightSail throughout the summer and make certain their child takes the Lexile comprehension questions that go along with the book.
Have Parents Ask for a Summary of Every Book
Children have to actively read a book to get the most out of it. This means you must provide them a purpose for reading it. If parents tell their kids they will want a summary of the book once it is finished, the kids realize they must remember the important details and be ready to share them. This can be accomplished through a verbal summary, an essay summary, or, since children love technology, have them create a presentation through Google Slides or some similar app.
By making it fun for the children, they will look at reading as less of a chore and more of something they will enjoy. Ask a few parents if they would be interested in starting a book club for their children. They can meet once a week and discuss the latest book they are reading as a group. There could even be snacks and drinks furnished for all. If needed, a parent could lead the discussion to ensure the kids are on track.