This past Tuesday night, parent bloggers Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald graced us with their engery and humor for a Google+ hangout on summer reading. Parents tuned in as Amy and Allie answered questions on parent anxiety around summer learning loss, the best books for summer, and how to breathe new life into boring reading routines. If you missed it, not to worry! You can watch the recap here. I've compiled a few of the standout tips and ideas below—take a look.
A lot of parents worry about the dreaded "Summer Slide." What do parents need to know about it?
Amy: "The summer slide can be scary, but it's not something to panic about. And it's not like kids need to sit with workbooks or lessons every single day to stop summer learning loss—learning can happen throughout the summer in lots of fun and different ways. And if you fall into bad habits, don’t panic. You can get back into summer reading. It’s never too late to start. The last thing we want is for kids to burn out by the time they’re heading back to school."
When it comes to summer reading, what are you doing this year that’s different from years past?
Allie: "I'm focusing on what my son wants to read this summer, not what I think he should read. We're also using a summer reading calendar to plan and track everything we read!"
Amy: "I'm roping my kids in with great series, like The 39 Clues. I'm also trying audiobooks for car rides."
Any reading routines you're trying this summer?
Allie: "We have a bedtime reading routine and we keep it in place every night, no exceptions. My kids have never gone to bed without books, even on vacation or while we’re traveling. Books go with us wherever we go.”
Any craft suggestions, art projects, or reading adventures you tie to books?
Allie: "I have a whole series on my blog called 'Read and Make' — it’s all about bookish crafts! I also love embracing what I call “read and play," You read a book about trees and then go climb them. Or, read a book about fish and take a field trip to the aquarium. Attach reading to something special—when something is special or novel, kids will remember it."
We also took several questions from parents tuning in. My favorite was from a mother who said: "I've read a lot about how as parents we should be setting a good example for our kids by reading ourselves, but I barely have time to read with my busy schedule. I feel like I'm setting a bad example—any advice?"
Amy and Allie had great responses.
Allie: "Just talk about what you’re reading. If you don’t have time to show them that you’re reading, talk about what you’re reading, how much you love books, when you’ve finished a book…pumping reading every day up will help.”
Amy: "Make it a little homework assignment for yourself. Pour a cup of coffee and carve out some time to read — you’re investing in your child’s future by doing so. And if you’ve told your child to read for a certain amount of time, why not sit down with them for at least a part of the time and read a book yourself?"
A big thanks to Amy and Allie and all the parents who joined us! For more summer reading ideas, stratgies, book recommendations, and more, check out our Summer Reading Resources Collection for Parents.