Thursday, June 6, 2019

Summer Reading

“The school year is ending for most children here in America, and that means we also often see the imposition of schoolwork on students’ free time over the summer…It’s summer. Read what you want!”

I am an avid reader and have been since I was a child. I find reading a magical escape into adventures and places that I may never go to or do. Because of my love of reading, I want everyone else to experience the same joy that I feel by doing this but not everyone will. I think that is why many teachers assign summer reading to students.

I never was given assigned summer reading by my teachers, but I wish I had. I wish someone would have suggested good books that I might enjoy reading in the summer. By having someone guide me to the “good” books, I would have been able to have quality time reading.  Instead, I had to hunt for them on my own and not all of them were worth reading.

I think summer reading should be suggested and not mandated. I think when we make something mandatory, it takes the joy out of reading. I know we want students to read over the summer to improve their reading skills but they should also work on other skills that they may not have time for during the school year like increasing activity levels, social skills, team building, trying a new sport, travel and exploring new hobbies.

I also feel that by mandating something for the summer to students that they struggle with or don’t enjoy will only make them hate it more. The more animosity they feel towards it, the more reluctant and discouraged they may feel. Summer should be a time of rejuvenation and enjoyment so why saddle kids with something that they will feel miserable about?

If I had to give a summer reading list, I would give a list of recommended books that I think my students would enjoy. I would even give a short description of each book and do a book talk before the end of school. I would try to interest them in the books and make them want to find out more. My list would depend on the student’s interests and reading levels. If I could, I think it would be great to personalize the lists somewhat where if some students had the same interests, I could add certain books to the lists just for them.

How do you feel about summer reading assignments? Please share.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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