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While healthy downtime is vital during these summer months, we should try to avoid the build-up of “brain sludge”. Summer reading is a great way to do this. Interest in reading varies vastly in children, and technology can help. The convenience of e-books cannot be denied, especially if travelling. There are audio books and interactive books for students less enthused about reading. Each method reaches the imagination and is a gateway for developing reading skills once a favourite series or author is found.
For adults interested, books about how students' brains work are extremely enlightening. In addition, parent books about dealing with social anxieties and issues would also be very beneficial. "Freeing Your Child From Anxiety" (Tamar E. Chansky) and "Helping Your Anxious Child" (Ronald Rapee et al.) are great options. These books also examine social skills, which is often intertwined with feelings of anxiety. As one author states, anxiety is the number one mental health issue facing parents today.
In addition, managing a child's social media use is critical. "Parenting in a Social Media World" (Charlene Giannetti) and "The Parent's Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media" (Shawn Edgington) are just two of the many good resource books available.
The classics such as "Who Has Seen the Wind" (W.O. Mitchell), "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee), and the entire "Anne of Green Gables" series, are always great choices.
For young adult reading, I take my cue from the titles that come up in conversations with students or even interviews with new students. John Green is popular for "The Fault in Our Stars", as is Kiera Cass for "Happily Ever After". "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner still comes up now and again, as does "SIsterhood of the Travelling Pants" (Ann Brashares) and series such as "The Hunger Games" (Suzanne Collins).
In the summer, there is often more time spent with your children, and I would really encourage books that touch upon "tougher" topics. These, of course, are at the discretion of the parent and how well they think the child would do with this type of reading material. Discussion points such as family arrangements, social and culture differences, personal struggles, feelings of being different or isolated, relationships and inclusiveness are rich for family talks or personal growth. Good writing may carry some controversial topics; one can't shy away from them when dealing with inquisitive, young minds, but one can better plan when to discuss them.
By Tim Southwell, Vice-Principal, Academics at Trafalgar Castle School
Summer hours have begun and will be in effect until Friday, August 26th
Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.