The New Year has come and gone and by now many of your New Year’s resolutions may already be broken. Or you may be like me, and have only just decided to ‘get fit’.
It’s hard isn’t it – taking those first few steps after making a decision to do something? But with perseverance, you begin to see improvements. Have you ever thought about your ‘Reading fitness’?
An article in the Age (on December 15, 2014) ties in a little bit here. Summer holidays: down time or down to it? suggests that students (and parents) should keep up the reading habit in the holidays:
Catherine Scott, senior lecturer in education and cognitive psychology at the University of Melbourne, adds that, “… There is a well-known phenomenon of memory decay. Particularly when you first learn something, you have to practise it fairly regularly or the ability to retrieve it gets worse. If you are not using it every day, your brain makes a decision for those connections to weaken.” She says the six weeks of the summer holidays are certainly enough time to see a phenomenon such as summer slide. after a study in the States discovered a drop in students’ reading skills after a long holiday break.
Reading is a bit like that, isn’t it? Leave your text books alone during a holiday break, and some of the technical terms may be a little foreign when school goes back. For learner readers, it may be individual words or sounds that are temporarily forgotten.
Thus, researchers are suggesting that students need to keep up their reading practice, whether at infants level or within the senior school and beyond. We all need to keep up regular exercise to keep fit – and it seems reading is no different!!
What do you think? Are you a holiday reader or do outdoor activities get in the way? How could you squeeze a little more reading in your holiday time?