Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School

Many parents are sending their children back to school this week. And undoubtedly many kids will come home with leveled books to read as part of their homework each evening. This is wonderful because practice is so important.
BUT, that does NOT mean parents should stop reading to their kids. In fact, Jim Trelease reports on studies that have found a child's enjoyment in reading goes down at the same time the are no longer read to. Until fourth grade, kids listening comprehension is much higher than their reading comprehension. So, kids can enjoy listening to a more complex and interesting story that won't be able to read by themselves for several years.

So please listen with joy as they building reading skills by reading their levelled books. And then let them listen with joy as you read to them.
Happy Back to School!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Reading

This post comes a little late since summer is coming to a close and school starts for my kids in just 3 weeks. BUT, I just learned this when I heard Jim Trelease speak and it is very shocking.

Like it or not, there is a HUGE achievement gap between rich, middle class, and poor kids. (Obviously, this isn't always every case and love of reading makes a huge difference in those instances, but statistically speaking it is true.) Mr. Trelease said that kindergarten teachers are miracle workers because although poor kids enter school a year behind academically, by the end of kindergarten they catch up. Sadly, though most of what they gain is lost over the summer.

WHY? Because they are not read to and/or required to read during the summer.

Eventually, by the time they reach fourth grade, the poor kids are two full grades behind in reading. And it is all due to reading loss over the summer.

You can see the startling chart on Mr. Trelease's website:

So READ, READ, READ to those kids for the next 3 weeks. If they can read themselves have them read to you! Because kids who read 20 min./day have been known to go up to 2 reading levels over the summer. If they seem like they've lost a little, that is fine... just start where they are now and work back up.

Summertime is not the time for a vacation from reading!