School’s Out… It’s the Middle of Summer… Now What?!?
This is part of a series here at MomStart called Teaching Tips:
If you have kids who are in school, summertime can be great. Day after day spent loving every extra second that you are getting to spend with your little lovelies. Then, you hear those words… “I’m booorrrreed.” Whether you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere that is giving you hot sunny days, or are suffering through dreary cloudy rainy-ness, it seems like all kids (regardless of age)utter those famous words. I even remember doing it when I was a kid.
Well, here’s the teacher to the rescue. No, I’m not about to rock your world, or offer you any miracle solutions. What I can do though, is give you a little more to talk to your kids about. Reading, reading, reading… you all know how important it is. There are TONS of local reading log programs, summer reading clubs, etc. in almost every area. All of those are good, great, and fine… but what can you do to build your child’s comprehension of what they are reading (or if they can’t read on their own yet “listening”)?
Research shows that when children (and even adults) build a greater understanding of what they are reading when they discover and make connections to the material. There are 3 specific types of connections that are important:
– Text to Self – Something in the book or story that the reader can personally relate to.
– Text to Text – Something in the book that reminds the reader of another something they have read.
– Text to World – Something in the material that makes the reader think of something they have seen or that is happening on a community or global level.
So what does all this mean? It means that you now have a few things that you can talk to your reader (no matter the age) about when they are reading! Yes, reading is important. Knowing how to talk about reading is just as important though! Next time you read a bedtime story, choose a page and ask if they’ve ever felt the way a character is feeling. Maybe instead you can ask after the book if it’s similar to any other books they’ve read. You can even ask if the book reminds them of anything they’ve seen happening lately (That question is pretty broad and is a little tricky for very young readers).
Helping your kids learn how to connect to the material they are reading will help them build SERIOUS comprehension skills. It helps them grow from just kids reading books into real READERS… readers who think about what they’re reading… and know how to talk about it! Give it a try. There really are no age limits to this strategy… well it might be a little early for my little guy, but it will work for any kid who can talk! Leave some comments and let everyone know how it goes. You may be surprised at some of the insight kids of any age have.
Ashley has a background in teaching Kindergarten and working with children K through 8th grade. She is now a SAHM and a very active member of our local MOMS Club chapter. She writes her own blog at Momicles.