Make the most of summertime reading—strategies to avoid the summer slide.

June 8, 2019

We know from extensive research that without continued reading in the summer, students fall back in their reading achievement. The good news is that the latest research shows students who read at least 4 books over the summer maintain or even increase their skills. Reading is a skill that continues to improve through practice. The more you read, the better reader you become. Children who are good readers enjoy reading.

Strategies to avoid the summer slide

• Ramp up the “pleasure principle” in reading and love of story.

• Increase the time you read aloud and talk with children about what they read. Children who talk about a story have better comprehension skills, which build their confidence as readers. Children need confidence to enjoy reading.

• Find a balance between school time reading and summer time reading. Summertime reading should be all about pleasure.

• SLOW DOWN: get off the literary stair master. I would rather your children read fewer books, know and love them well, than read many books they don’t really like or even remember.

• Re-reading is not cheating! Encourage your children to revisit the books they have read. Everyone gets more from a book they have read more than once.

• Allow your children choice in what they read

• Audio books are terrific—and they build vocabulary and instill a love of story. They are also not associated with school assignments.

• Relax and let go of how challenging a book is—please do not tell children the book they are reading is too easy.

Set an example and follow your good advice: Read more this summer and enjoy what you read.


Why read?

May 3, 2019

The following is the most heartfelt writing I have met in a long time that makes a case for why we read, written by Alain de Botton, a Swiss-born British philosopher and author. “We wouldn’t need books quite so much if everyone around us understood us well. But they don’t. Even those who love us get us wrong. They tell us […]


Your life story

March 26, 2019

I just had the pleasure of  teaching Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl which is a book that can’t help but influence how you see life as it poses the all important question that the best of literature asks, what is the meaning and purpose of a life? Here is the quote that framed […]



January 29, 2019

Farsighted: How we Make the Decisions That Matter Most by Steven Johnson points our attention to one more benefit of being a reader of literary fiction. His book suggests that reading literary fiction can improve decision making, Novelists draw out the complexity of their characters’ inner lives and fictional situations help us to see decisions […]


John Steinbeck and a 2019 Aspiration

January 1, 2019

From John Steinbeck—worth pondering “There are events in our personal lives and our collective history that seem categorically irredeemable, moments in which the grounds for gratefulness and hope have sunk so far below the sea level of sorrow that we have ceased to believe they exist. But we have within us the consecrating capacity to […]


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