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Start reading early to avoid the summer slide

Young Children & Summer Reading

All parents want to avoid the dreaded summer slide when kids lose some of there academic skills. It's largely attributed to the lack of reading. Children who do not read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress. Sadly, this is cumulative with some researchers estimating that a lag of two years can occur by the time a struggling reader reaches middle school.

Summer is the perfect time to encourage kids to read and it keeps a child from losing ground. Let’s build a love for reading in young children by creating a habit that incorporates summertime reading.

Reading & cuddling with infants

parents reading with babyIt is never too early to start sharing books with your young child. While babies may not understand the words, they will love cuddling beside you as you read aloud. Your infant is enamored with the sound of your voice. Those words build the sounds necessary for your infant to learn language. Make a routine of reading throughout the day. Set the stage for success – choose a time when your child is fed, dry, and alert. Select a board book, read with expression and point to pictures. It’s okay if you don’t finish an entire book. Instead focus on the pictures, and the text your child enjoys the most.

Reading with wiggly toddlers

mom reading to toddlerToddlers are busy! It’s okay if your child can’t sit still for an entire book. It’s also okay to keep reading as your child moves around. The goal is for reading to be fun. Reading regularly with your child strengthens your connection to them.

Engage your child in reading. Talk about the pictures and encourage them to turn the pages of the book. Reading a homemade book, a photo album or even a song book is still reading. Seek out different books until your child has a favorite or favorites. Select books with topics they like (trains, puppies, etc.). Look for books with only a few words per page. Consider books like lift-the-flap or books with textures, which gives your child more to do while reading.

Place books on a low bookshelf or in a basket so they are easy for your child to pick up anytime. It's also a great idea to keep a book or two in the diaper bag so you're ready to read anywhere.

Preschoolers are eager readers

dad and daughter readingPreschoolers are eager to learn and act like big kids. Reading is a perfect activity for them to make decisions – what to read, where to read and what to talk about. Preschoolers love books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition. They will also have favorite books so be prepared to read a book again and again. Follow your child’s lead. Be sure to pause to allow your child to finish a sentence or a repetitive line in a familiar book. Talk about the book – point out the actions or emotions within the book.

Reading daily is your special time together. Nurture of a love of reading by having fun. Routinely visit the library and allow your child to select books.  Involve the whole family by encouraging grandparents to read to a child or to purchase a book as a gift.

Summer Reading & Events

Include the library in your summer plans! Family fun, stories, art, music, games and of course, the Summer Reading Challenge for all ages in June and July. Kids and teens get a prize for every 2 hours of reading up to 8 hours (count anything you've already read in June). You can also join the fun – adults get a prize for reading 3 books and a prize for 6 books.

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