Tips to keep our children reading over the school holidays

Extract from Ryan Spencer, University of Canberra:

It comes as no surprise that children love school holidays and they are just around the corner! Being free of the routines of going to school every day and being able to relax is a valuable part of growing up. The regular reading that is a part of many children’s school day suddenly comes to an end as, for many children, there are far more interesting things to do on holiday other than reading a book.

Research clearly shows that when kids put down reading books on their break, their reading ability also drops with it. The term “summer slide” is well established and refers to children dropping in their reading ability following a lack of reading over the holiday break. Teachers in Australia frequently report that students return to school after their break with a lower reading level than when they left prior to the holidays. Therefore it’s vital that we continue to encourage our children to read widely and often whilst they are on holiday.

1. Make reading time fun (and quick!)
2. Visit bookstores and the local library
3. Allow children to choose what they want to read
4. Have a ‘screen free night’ each week
5. Give books as gifts
6. Read together using paired reading

Gail Mitchell, Head of Primary


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