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Slide into Summer Reading

Here at FLOW we are finishing up our first week of summer camp and preparing for book clubs to begin next week.

As many of you probably know, research demonstrates that reading is essential to mitigating summer slide. At FLOW we have a list of summer books we will be reading as part of our book club, but there are so many wonderful books just waiting for kids to open their pages. Is there any better way to spend a lazy summer afternoon than curled up with your favorite book? This week we offer some ideas for encouraging your kiddos' reading this summer.

Summer Reading Journal

Ask your kiddos to keep track of each book they have read in a summer reading journal. In the journal kiddos should write a brief review of each book they complete. For those who love to write, encourage them to write at least three paragraphs reviewing the book. For resistant writers they can just write a bulleted list. Here are some things they can consider as they write their reviews: Write a brief summary of the plot. Did you enjoy the book? Why? The plot, characters, language, etc. Were there any new words you learned in the book? How many stars would you give the book? To incentivize the process you could set up a reward system for a certain number of books read that resembles those run by many local libraries.

Summer Reading Club

You can set up a book club with the members of your family. Select a book to read on your own or together and set aside at least an hour to discuss the book when everyone has finished the book. When possible, you can add to the fun by creating a thematic night around the book by decorating your house to resemble something in the book, serving food from the book, or designing an activity around the book. Alternatively, you could create a book club with some friends and ask all of the kids to come with at least two questions and their favorite passage to discuss. We would love to have you join us at FLOW for a book club, but here are some tips for running your own book club:

· Look online to find discussion questions about your book selection or find interviews with the author to watch together.

· Here are some general questions you can ask about most books: What surprised you? What altered, challenged or confirmed your thinking? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn that you didn’t know? What was your favorite passage or moment in the story and why? Who was your favorite character and why?

· Also, you can try to come up with extension activities for books your kiddos have read such as drawing pictures of the characters or scenes, writing alternative endings, writing letters to the characters or authors, or watch the movie adaptation when possible and discuss or write about the differences between the film and book.

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