Summer time…and reading should be easy for your students! The summer is a crucial time for the English student. Not only do our students need some time to relax and rejuvenate, but they also need to stay in mental shape. They need to continue to exercise their mind and critical thinking skills that they have been developing over the past 9 months. For the English student, reading is the single most important activity to do over summer. And while many local schools provide reading lists and reading homework, we believe students need to read beyond their assignments.
Here’s the thing, though: as long as they are reading, they are growing. Reading is reading is reading. In addition to their school work, we need to encourage students to cultivate their own interests and curiosity. They need to find what they like and read the sort of texts that they like. Whether it’s movie reviews, song lyrics, or even comments sections, reading is reading. Students should have their interests nurtured.
After a student has read what they like, we should next encourage them to challenge themselves; they should explore material that is outside of their familiar reading habits (if they like sports, they can read about movies; if they like fashion, they can read about science; if they love music, they can read about animals, etc.). The benefits that are born from exposure to new and different styles, vocabulary, are incalculable and provide students the opportunity to incorporate new concepts into their mental landscape, etc. We also want to promote active reading and enthusiastic communities of readers. Reading shouldn’t exist in a vacuum; as students read, they need a community to bounce ideas off of. That’s where AJ can step in and offer support. Summer English enrichment is a great forum for young readers to find a community of equally enthusiastic peers and educators. We can suggest new titles, and we can discuss old titles that students are just discovering for the first time.
As much as we want to encourage and promote independent reading, the reality remains that as the summer winds down, summer reading assignments need to be completed, and AJ can help. As part of our summer courses and bridge programs, we have a comprehensive list of regional school’s required reading, and we can help put together a schedule of reading to complete the assignments on time, preview themes and discussion topics, and start honing the analysis skills that are so vital to the English classroom. Our tutors and the English department as a whole view summer as an opportunity to reset, fuel curiosity, and sharpen fundamental skills. The summer represents a moment to take the pressure off, level up English skills, and lay the foundation to make the new school year more approachable, more enjoyable, and more successful.