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19 April 2014 @ 06:00 pm
Summertime and the reading is prescribed  
I have already seen numerous postings about summer racing programs. Now I know about the "summer slide." According to RIF (Reading is Fundamental), the summer slide, "describes what happens when young minds sit idle for three months. Children who do not read over the summer will lose more than two months of reading achievement. Summer reading loss is cumulative. By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer will be 2 years behind their classmates."

I certainly support having kids read over the summer months. What I am not so keen about are the "programs." Giving kids a prescribed list of titles to read, having them tested over the content when school returns in the fall, and the like is counterproductive if we are aiming not only to stop the summer slide but also keep kids motivated about books and reading. Too many SRPs have narrow lists from which kids can pick their books. Worse, some have ONE book for each grade level. Here is the fallacy of one size fits all:

me and moose

I cannot squeeze into a one size fits all. College Girl would swim inside something marked one size fits all. Why do we have to take this approach? Do we fear choice? Do we not trust kids to select books on their own? How could we ever expect kids to become or remain readers if they always have books selected for them?

This summer I plan to read as I always do: #bookaday. I will read picture books, graphic novels, professional texts, journals, YA fiction and nonfiction, and more. I hope we give kids the same freedom (freedom) to read, too.

Here are some good resources from RIF: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/brochures.htm
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