By Reagan Doyle, KTTZ & PBS
Summer is a time for sunshine, outdoors, and enjoying a well-earned break from the busyness of the school year. Unfortunately, summer is also when children can lose the equivalent of two months of academic learning from the previous grade. These losses are most noticeable in the early grades where children are learning foundational reading skills that will influence their futures.
The good news is that parents can prevent this. A great strategy for parents is repeatedly reading children’s favorite books. This helps build word recognition and fluency skills for appropriate reading inflection and pacing. To help children become stronger readers, practice reading aloud together. This helps build children’s confidence and reinforces fluency. Taking turns reading to each other also helps build children’s comprehension of the story and reinforces good reading habits.
As children encounter words that they do not know or make a mistake with a word, it is not always best to immediately correct them. Instead, let them finish the thought or sentence, and then go back to the word they stumbled over. They may correct themselves or be able to use context clues from the rest of the idea to find the correct word. If your child is still stuck, then tell them the correct word and read it within the context of the full sentence or idea, then ask them to read it back to you.
PBS and Lubbock Area United Way are both committed to helping families tackle the challenges of summer learning. If you are looking to turn everyday moments into fun learning experiences, visit PBSparents.org for sortable age-appropriate learning activities in the Learn and Grow section. If you are looking for activities throughout the community to support children’s learning, visit liveunitedlubbock.org and explore the learning events on the Summer Reading Calendar!