I’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts about SUMMER! As in no school, no learning, no teachers, no pressure. And the “Woo-hoo! Yay!” of that.
This reminds me of a post I wrote last year about summer reading (posted below). I’m going to be the wet blanket here. I think kids should continue learning during the summer. What I don’t understand is why kids can’t learn and have fun. Why is there such an extreme separation between these views? I don’t think there needs to be.
Going to the beach, riding bikes, blowing bubbles, swimming…these are all wonderful parts of summer. That doesn’t mean kids can’t read or use some of their outdoor time learning about nature.
My children are out of school, and it is officially summer break around here. They both love reading and willingly grab books daily as a fun activity. But what about those who would rather not read? Summer Slide is real.
After you’ve dried off from the pool or wiped sand from between little toes, sit down in the sunshine and have some DEAR time or read to your kids.
Who says you can’t have a picnic and read Percy Jackson?
My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.
Summer Reading Book (s)
When I was in school, we had required summer reading lists. Every year. With multiple books we were required to read. End-of-summer / back-to-school meant buying clothes, pencils, notebooks, and a backpack. It also meant preparing ourselves to prove we did our summer reading. In grade school, we had to write book reports. When we entered junior high, we were tested on the reading.
I suppose I’m old(ish) but, wow, have things changed that much? Get this. My kids have to read a book over the summer. One. Book. AND they don’t technically have to read it—this is a request not a requirement. Reading a book is “great!” and “encouraged!” but not “required”. Consequently, my kids will not be tested on or even asked about the book(s) they read because they weren’t expected to read any.
Also, there is a page trying to talk students (or parents?) into this one book by spouting “Summer Slide” statistics and research about expanded vocabulary and increased success in school.
There is a list of book suggestions, yes, but they are popular books including many comic books and magazines. I’m not looking for a fight. My kids read both of the above and some of them are fantastic but I’m talking summer reading here. I don’t understand how we went from a required list of specific books to a suggested list of popular books in one generation.
Okay, it’s been
twenty thirty years since I was in grade school and things are bound to change a bit in that time but, honestly, taking away summer reading? It’s still there, technically, but it’s really not. Not with the mild, mousy voice of it-would-be-so-neat-if-you-could-maybe-possibly-read-one-book-or-something-with-words-on-it-this-summer.
Did you have summer reading when you were in school? Do your children? Are they going to read this summer? If so, is it for fun or because their school required it?