Children choosing what they read significantly improves reading skills.

With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, it is a good time to acknowledge the fact that many children experience a summer slide in reading skills. In fact, “a child can lose up to two months of school each summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association. And the loss compounds each year.”

New research suggests that simply giving children access to books—and allowing them to choose books that most interest them—had a significant effect on the summer reading gap.

An article to be published in September in the journal, Reading Psychology, reports that children who received free books posted significantly higher test scores than the children who received activity books.  Another notable finding of the study showed improved reading scores when children are allowed to select their own books. Is it really a surprise that children who enjoy reading will become good readers?

I am not sure if I am laughing or cringing, but I just read “If anything can turn young people on to reading, it might be a memoir by the teenage pop superstar, Justin Bieber”, to be published in the fall.

There is a sea of print out there and I want children swimming in that sea—let your children choose books that interest them and at the same time, offer them books that you think might interest them.It is a give and take—you want children to respect your taste and we need to respect their taste.


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