Research tells us that children and teens who don’t read and write outside of school, especially during long breaks such as summer vacation, face a big loss in their literacy growth compared to those who do continue learning all year long.
This means the summer months and other breaks from school offer wonderful opportunities for families, caregivers, and out-of-school educators to help improve reading and writing. ReadWriteThink.org‘s Parent & Afterschool Resources and NCTE provide many resources, activities, and tools.
The Language Arts article “Summer Reading: A Reflection” recounts the author’s family’s summer reading and how she used it as an opportunity to talk with her children about books and, ultimately, about life.
This article from Voices from the Middle reports on a space that was created in a summer reading program in which secondary literacy teachers’ assumptions about middle level readers were disrupted when they worked with middle level “book buddies” around the youths’ text choices.
Interested in starting a book club with children and teens this summer? The English Journal article “Facilitating a Summer Reading Book Group Program” reminds readers that summer book groups enhance and sustain student literacy behaviors over the break, making available an enjoyable social forum for critical thinking and critical reading practices to occur naturally. The book groups grant faculty and students an informal space to connect meaningfully through reflective discussion of texts.
Many educators continue to learn over the summer. The English Education article “Learning to Speak in a Political Voice” profiles a National Writing Project Summer Institute.
As summer approaches, many teachers are creating summer reading lists—for their students and for themselves. In the English Leadership Quarterly article “An English Teacher’s Reading Journey (and a Tribute to Mama)“, the author shares a personal journey of reading and presents the idea that reading is a shared experience between the text, author, and reader.
How do you approach summer learning?