Should children choose their own summer reading?
Date posted: July 10, 2015
Evidence points to the importance of summertime reading in curbing ‘summer slide’, the loss of children’s reading skill during the summer holidays.
And, research also indicates that letting children choose their own summer reading has benefits. Read about some recent research in Why we should let kids choose their own summer reading books and Eliminating Summer Reading Setback: How We Can Close the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap.
What about a child who needs help choosing books? Find good tips for parents in Help a Child Choose a Book.
What if a child chooses books that are too easy or too hard? In Rethinking Language Arts: Passion and Practice, Nina Zaragoza replies:
I guess I’ll have to answer this one with a question. What do you do when you pick a book that is too difficult for you? The answer for me would depend on why I started reading the book in the first place. If it is an instructional manual for a computer program that I need to learn, I will probably struggle through it or find someone to help me since I need to use the program. If it is a book that is too difficult because the subject matter is incredibly dense or boring I would put it down. Moreover, I believe that when children have a chance to practice choosing, they choose appropriately for themselves. Appropriateness depends on many things: interest, time, likes, dislikes, and so on. Just as a child may want to see a movie more than a dozen times, it is also common to see a child reading the same book three, four, or more times.
By choosing their own reading material, children will be encouraged to read for pleasure. Visit your local public library for a broad selection of reading possibilities to help you create a family reading environment.