Library Column for April 26, 2024

@ Your Library

May is just around the corner and that means that the library begins to transition to our summer schedule and programming. The last storytime of the school year will be Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 am as we share gardening stories and send kids home with seeds to hopefully grow.

Saturday hours will be in place until May 20th. Be sure to drop in and borrow those books and more May 20th or earlier in the month as that will be our last Saturday until September.

The school year is winding down and as you make plans for summer be sure and include time in each day to unwind and enjoy reading. Summer can be a time of relaxation, unwinding and fun, but don’t let that turn into a loss of learning or skills. Studies have shown that kids can lose up to 3 months of skills and learning during the summer if they don’t engage their brain regularly during the break from formal learning. The key is that we aren’t focusing on formal learning. We want the summer to be a time of unstructured learning, a time for exploring interests and diving into fun. It can also be a time to explore their favorite titles from the past year or two.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to keep kids from learning and skill loss. Make time each and every day for some reading and other skill checkups. Begin or end the day with everyone in the household reading quietly. As you go about the day, ask kids age-appropriate questions about math, science and other interests. Ask younger kids to count the number of items purchased, while older kids might estimate the total cost of items purchased. Play the alphabet game and find all the letters of the alphabet as you travel to a destination, pick up where you left off if you didn’t finish when returning home. Have someone pick a letter and name 5, 10 or 25 words that start with that letter, or end with that letter. Play a board game together and have the child read the directions, or the cards to practice their reading. The point is to keep their brain thinking that the skills they learned are important and should be retained not sloughed off. So let them read whatever they want. As I often tell the older kids when I visit their classes, they can read the cereal box, but I think that is boring, if they want, just read. I will be providing suggestions for books they might want to explore this summer when I visit classes in May.

Visit us regularly this summer and if you need additional suggestions of ways to engage children’s brains this summer. And if you are traveling check out the audiobook options. We have digital platforms to borrow ebooks and audiobooks as well as books on CD and now Playaways which offer the audiobook with its own player, available for all ages.

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