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Avoiding the Summer Reading Slump

4708541783_73def324fa.jpegGuest contributor and MobiStories.com producer Wendy Toone, offers great tips on how your kids can avoid brain drain when they're out of school. Take a look...

It's Summertime! Catching fireflies, eating dinner on the deck, swimming, no school!!!

What have your kids been doing? Waking up late, lazing around in front of the TV? It's nice to decompress after the school year. For a few days. But now what?? Camps, classes, playdates can fill up the days and keep the kids active and occupied. But my fear is always that their brains will turn to mush by mid-July, leaving them (and in turn, me) frustrated and floundering come mid-September when they're back in school with flabby grey matter that hasn't been exercised in way too long.

According to Kent State Graduate School of Education's Dr. Timothy Rasinski, professor of literacy education, students can lose as much as 3 month's worth of reading level over the summer. Research shows that younger elementary school students rarely make up deficits in reading once they fall behind. Conversely, students who read during the summer could end up 3 months ahead, too.

So, why not be even just a little pro-active in keeping your kids reading. That doesn't mean they need to plow through "War and Peace" by August 24th. Here are just a few FUN ways reading can become part of your family's summer fun activities:

Don't fight TV: Kids insist on watching TV? Try letting them... with the sound off and the closed caption on (sneakyyyyy)

Act it out: Get the whole family in the act and tackle one of the classics as a play. How fun is "Charlotte's Web" when every family member plays a different character and reads aloud...don't forget to speak in accents and voices, use arm motions, whatever to have FUN.

Campfire stories: The art of storytelling is the original 'reading' before the printed page.... Everything sounds good around a fire - family memories, ghost stories, or fairy tales can captivate kids. Try a "make-it-up" story where everyone adds just one line at a time."

Discover the classics : Treasuries of classic literature is available for even younger readers that may not be ready for the "real" version. Advanced readers can expand their world with the likes of Jules Verne and Mark Twain in addition to Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling!

Log reading hours in a Read-A-Thon : Several non-profit groups such as Reading Is Fundamental and PBS Kids have read-a-thons that can be found on the web. Great goal-setting activity for the summer as well!

Use Your Local Library!! So many summer programs are available for all ages/reading levels. Story/song time for toddlers, book clubs for tweens and teens...And they're FREE!

Organize a Book Swap: Get together with friends and neighbors to exchange previously read books. This allows the kids to read the latest titles (not always available at the library) while you save $$.

Get your kids excited about reading this summer by getting them excited about stories in new ways to keep them from suffering the "Summer Reading Slump."

My Photo.jpegWendy Toone is a child expert, having owned and operated a leading children's fitness center and now produces MobiStories, Digital Books for KidsTM. She is a cableAce-award winning television producer and has worked on hundreds of television commercials as a Production Manager after spending a decade onstage as a professional dancer. Wendy's two children have been inspirational in the creation of MobiStories.

One more week to win an iPod Touch! Visit this link, re-tweet the road trips post and then leave a comment offering your own road trip survival tips. We'll share your tips with the team at MobiStories and they will ultimately decide the winner of an iPod Touch! The contest runs throughout the month of June and we'll select a winner on July 5. Runners up will receive a $25 iTunes card as well as an autographed copy of The Marvelous Toy signed by Grammy award-winner Tom Paxton.

To download a free digital book for your PC visit MobiStories.com, click on Summer (in the Ages 2 - 4 category) add it to the cart and Michelle Obama then enter the code SUM0710 in the Coupon Code Box. Here's a How To video for reference as well.

To purchase more stories, visit Mobistories on iTunes.

Posted in: Blog, Guest Post Corner on 07/01/2010

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