Reading is a skill, and like other skills, it improves with practice. When children read every day, they learn to read faster and understand what they read better.
If kids don't read for a month or two, they're likely to lose much of the progress they've made during the past school year. That means they'll have to spend part of next year just catching up to where they are now. It's like taking two steps forward, then one step back.
Kids who read during the summer start school ready to continue their progress. In fact, since summer reading can focus on things they are most interested in, some kids will start school reading better than when it ended. Make sure your children spend at least 15 minutes each day reading. Don't worry about what they read, but make sure they read.
Check to see if your local public library has a summer reading program and encourage your children to sign up. Summer is a great time to read just for fun, and kids can find books on nearly any subject that takes their fancy. A sports fan might read nothing but sports biographies. Another child might read all the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A third might want to read only poetry. All will benefit from what they have chosen. And all will start school better ready to learn next fall.
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