Being an avid reader and having a passion for reading, I came across this article in the New York Times the other day: Summer must-read for kids--any book. In summary, the article encourages parents and caregivers to promote reading over the summer to not only to have children retain reading skills, but also enhance those skills. And I'm all for that!
It's only natural that children, especially older children (5th grade and above), will become lackadaisical over the summer; after all, school's out. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2009 report card, the national average for reading among fourth graders was higher in 2009 than in 1992, but "not significantly different than 2007." [source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 Reading Assessments. web source]
It's our responsibility as parents (and caregivers) to encourage reading. As Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, states:
"A child's interests are a door into the room of reading...If your child is turned off by reading, getting them to read anything is better than nothing."I've done that with my son who loathes reading but he's "strongly encouraged" to read anyway. What I've done is allow him to pick out topics that interest him--sports, history--even books about video games (ugh). And it's not just limited to books; magazines or any other print media that is age appropriate. The proof of this reading push is in his grades and FCAT score. (And I strongly detest the FCAT--Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test; but that is an entry for another day.)
My daughter is an avid reader just like her mommy! :-)
I don't have to poke and prod her to read; she loves to read, which is demonstrated in her comprehension levels, language skills, and ability to express herself verbally and in writing.
Another interesting side note in this article was that:
Surprisingly, the most popular book during the first year of the Florida study was a biography of Britney Spears.Now I don't know how long ago that study was conducted, considering quite a few pop culture tween icons have come and gone since Britney (I guess she's an 'old lady' now--hee, hee). And as much as it bothers me that a biography on BS (hmm, "BS"--how appropriate) was the "most popular book," at least kids were reading--and hopefully learning what NOT to do.
My point: Reading opens the mind, increases knowledge, and can be fun.
I realize this blog topic is lighthearted, but since this is my first "official" posting to the blog, I thought it would be best to begin with a neutral topic. I'm saving the "heavy artillery" for another day!