After a year of being cooped up at home following a global pandemic, parents and kids alike are ready to kick back, go out, and enjoy what the summer will bring. We’re delighted that the world is slowly going back to normal, but as moms, we’re working hard to ensure that the summer reading slide, especially Arabic reading, doesn’t affect our children.
The summer slide is the way in which some students seem to regress academically during the summer months. In schools that close for a few months every summer, students often lose some of the educational gains they’ve achieved throughout the school year. This summer learning loss is typically measured in subjects like reading or math but could be anecdotally observed in social skills and even classroom discipline. This often means teachers spend the first part of each school year re-teaching the same content students learned the previous year.
Whether you have been consistent during the year with your Arabic learning, or less so due to a variety of pandemic-related reasons, it’s all the more important that we don’t let the summer break reduce progress or exacerbate existing challenges.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you prevent an Arabic reading slide this summer:
1. Choose Arabic books your kids will want to read (or be read to!)
Our first rule is choosing engaging books our kids will enjoy and that starts with understanding their interests and what keeps them coming back for more. Luckily, the books we’ve outfitted our bookshelves with are high quality, engaging, have beautiful illustrations to keep them engaged, and hilarious story lines to keep them giggling.
2. Set SMART goals for Arabic summer reading
Setting a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) for Arabic reading will help keep you on track to ensure that Arabic reading doesn’t fall off your list this summer.
A helpful goal setting/habit changing tip I read about recently is to write down where and how long you want to do something (ex: We will read one Arabic book in the backyard after breakfast every day). Whether it’s 10 minutes a day or one bedtime story per evening, ensuring that you’re getting some form of Arabic reading almost every day is essential. Discussing the goals with your child and getting their input and engagement is equally important. You can incentivize reaching your goal by tracking the reading on this printable reading log, and providing a reward to keep your child motivated to achieve your Arabic reading goals this summer.
Check this video for an example of how to set a SMART goal with your child:
3. Change up your Arabic reading space
We’re not talking about a full makeover (it is time to relax this summer after all)—just a little sprucing up or even a change of place. How about setting up a book nook outdoors on your front porch or back patio? We set up a simple hammock in our backyard that the kids love and are encouraging them to set some time to read outside. With warmer days, there’s no excuse not to get up, get out, and read! Grab a lemonade, some watermelon, a book, and enjoy reading under the sun!
4. Read Arabic on the go
From camp pick-ups and drop-offs to road trips, we know a lot more time will be spent in the car and on the go this summer.
Audio books and Arabic story-time podcasts have made our lives easier, ensuring that we can infuse a bit of Arabic into an otherwise unproductive time. Listening to Arabic books can help improve your child’s pronunciation and vocabulary, among several other benefits. With several options at your fingertips, it’s all the more easy to take Arabic on the road with you.
5. Let Arabic books inspire your summer activities & field trips
If your little one is diving into those dinosaur books, why not plan a trip to your local museum and check out those fossils in action? If you don’t have a dinosaur museum in your area, there are tons of fossil kits to explore at home!
Books for your little foodie and budding chefs are always fun and can inspire some cooking lessons! Seeing relatives this summer? Get them involved and make some traditional zaatar and cheese pies and Teta’s special pizza like the ones in your child’s favorite stories. We hope these tips give you that push and inspiration you need to set and reach your Arabic summer reading goals! The only slide we want to experience this summer is the one at our local playground or waterpark!