Summer Story Time is Great Supplement to Learning!
By Jennifer Cummings, M.Ed. – A Note from the Teacher
Parents often struggle trying to find the balance between maintaining kids’ educational skills and allowing them some time to slack off from school during the summer months. For small children, especially those that are just beginning to read, or those that have had difficulty mastering the skill, continued practice over the weeks of vacation can be essential when maintaining their skill levels. For a great way to keep kids reading all summer, try a local story time!
Libraries, as in many other areas of life, are a leading resource for young readers. Many local libraries provide story hours weekly for kids in the community and are free to attend. Led by a volunteer or librarian, kids get to hear new stories each week and get to see good reading habits modeled in a fun way. After the story kids can look through the library shelves to find their own books to practice at home. Best yet, it’s free!
Another place that parents can look for story hours are local YMCA’s, non-profit education or nature centers, or other community centers. The mission of many organizations centers around reaching out to young children, and reading books together is a great way to teach kids about different topics and engage them in learning while having fun. Story times offered by specific organizations may be themed each week, so kids can learn about different topics, from animals to space. Many organizations also have places to explore afterwards, such as walking trails, active play areas, or other activities. That can allow story time to become a full and active morning!
Finally, many large and small bookstores often offer story hours for parents and kids. While they may be trying to attract customers, many store story hours are led by fun and dedicated readers who really want the kids to enjoy books. Stores also have huge numbers of books as a resource, so stories are rarely repeated week to week. Parents, be prepared, though- your little one may want to buy that book they just heard on the way out the door.
Regardless of where you choose to enjoy story time, taking kids out to enjoy books shows them that you think reading is a special activity. Watching readers in action helps kids to see good models they can later emulate as they read, and gets them excited to choose their own books for enjoyment. Whether you find one a month or two a week, summertime story hours are a great and educational way to spend time with your kids this summer. Go reading!
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