"Summer's almost over and my kids didn't finish their reading list!"-Don't worry, its not just you!
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Summer is a special time for school age-children, and it needs to be respected.
Most parents will remember endless hours of outdoor time, unstructured play, sports that kids chose themselves, bike rides down country lanes, and discovery. New friends, family time, face-to-face chats.
This summer has been an unusual one by most standards, as kids who are vaccinated were able to meet for the first time, some returning to camp, others re-uniting with family and friends after a long separation. While summer homework packets and reading lists are given out, chances are this is the summer kids are enjoying a bit of freedom.
Research shows kids who read recreationally help avoid the summer slide. If you have a reluctant "follow the school list" reader, find books around their interests. I found a book on Minecraft and coding and it checked two boxes, math and reading. And someone even ended up making a website! A very raw and wobbly one, but what an outcome! Another created a 25,000 strong community around a game, on Discord, and ran it like a company for many months. He was reading copious amounts of content, and even had a talent contest for the community one evening. Impressive given he was 13.
I have 3 school age kids, and while they usually have 95 per cent of the homework done every summer, this summer we discussed the news, read from magazines and articles,, switched between audiobooks and actual books, and spent plenty of time mucking around in the backyard.
Math packets are definitely not complete, but they did some math apps and coding which could add up.
I am more focussed this year, on the fact that they return to school fresh and happy, and in a frame of mind to learn. It will be a staggering amount of learning loss that teachers will have to deal with, but as parents, we promise to support you. Maybe they can write a journal about their summer, where they created memories that as they get older, will get them through the tough times in their life. Maybe they can show you the video game they created, or make a photo-book with captions to share with the class. Maybe that's what we all need. A little community, a little caring and a promise to support each other as parents, educators and students. That may be the best outcome, if someone forgot to read a required book.