I know that many parents will disagree with me, but I think it is important for students to continue with some form of academics over the summer. Summer reading is just the ticket! Summer reading allows the student to read for pleasure, to build a vocabulary, to review sentence structure, and to exercise the brain.
Reading for pleasure is quickly becoming a lost art. Students, in general, have a difficult time differentiating reading for pleasure and reading for comprehension. This usually occurs around the fourth or fifth grade when textbooks become more akin to reference materials. Students feel they have to read textbooks in the same way they read novels. There is very little that is pleasurable about reading reference materials. Novels, on the other hand, have story lines, plots, interesting characters, etc. I could go on forever.
Another reason that students do not enjoy reading is because it may take a while to get to the end – the very reason I love to read. Students, these days, are into instant gratification. That’s why they love texting. They have something to say, they say it. That’s why they love video games; they can instantly beat their last high score.
Reading a good book takes time. The plot unfolds, the characters are developed, the problem is revealed and the solution is played out. A book may take hours, even days to complete. One can languish over a book. If the author is really good, the reader is engaged. The characters become life-like and the reader begins to have feelings toward them. That’s why series of stories are so popular. People want to see what happens to the characters they have come to know.
Read a book with your child this summer. Discuss the characters; try to guess what happens next. Teach your children how to enjoy books.