With summer break from school comes pool parties, vacations, and good ol’ fashioned hanging out. However, while children are getting their much deserved rest from school, they also might be losing some of their much needed literacy skills.
ABC Life Literacy Canada is just one organization that is trying to get the word out to parents to keep their kids engaged during summer months, recently launching a nationwide campaign in order to educate Canada’s parents on the importance of maintaining literacy education while kids are out of school.
“Research has shown that children who don’t read over the summer lose some of the literacy skills they learned during the year, and have a difficult time adjusting to school in the fall,” explains Ashley Tilley, communications coordinator at ABC Life Literacy Canada. “Kids can lose up to 30% of their grade level equivalency skills by the time they head back to class in the fall.”
For these reasons, keeping your kids reading, learning, and generally engaged in productive activities is a must between school years. To those parents that fear continuing studies during the summer might prevent their kids from getting the rest they need, Tilley suggests balancing the lazy days of summer with educational pursuits that take kids away from ordinary forms of learning and into environments that are fun, interesting and much more exciting than the classroom.
While there may be potential protests from your kids loafing on the couch or in the pool when the word ‘book’ is thrown around, ABC Life Literacy Canada notes many ways to cater to your children’s individual personality and keep their minds sharp:
- Be a role model: Children learn from their parents, so keep reading too!
- Give children books on topics that they are interested in: Whatever their interest, know that any kind of reading will help improve literacy skills – even comic books.
- Make literacy fun: Go to the zoo and read each animal’s information card, have kids write postcards to friends and family while away on vacation, or play a board game that requires reading.
- Read every day: Practice makes perfect, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to maintain and grow literacy skills.
“Practicing literacy for 15 minutes a day, even over the summer, is…impactful,” Tilley stresses. “Literacy is like a muscle – if you don’t use it, you lose it. So it’s important to keep literacy skills sharp throughout the entire year. Lifelong learning should be embraced by everyone.”
Get additional details on literacy and more tips on keeping your kids sharp during the summer at www.abclifeliteracy.ca.