Mumsnet users debate children reading on summer holidays


Between long days in the classroom and after-school clubs, many children are exhausted by the time the summer holidays come around.

So it is perhaps of little surprise that many parents see the break as a chance for their little ones to relax and unwind before term starts again.

But these Mumsnet posts reveal how parents are divided over how much time children should spend studying at home, with some warning that children risk undoing all the progress they made at school if they do not keep up the hard work over the summer.

Dilemma: Parents were divided over how much children should read over summer. File image

Pushing too hard? One mother took to Mumsnet to ask for advice after struggling to get her five-year-old daughter to sit down with a book after a busy day at summer camp

The debate was sparked after one mother shared that she was struggling to get her five-year-old daughter to read,  and asked other parents whether it would unreasonable to ‘let it go over summer and just let her be’.

‘I want her to love reading and am worried me making a chore might push her the other way,’ she explained. 

Some parents spoke out in support of the mother and said it was perfectly acceptable for her daughter to take the summer off. 

One wrote: ‘She’ll be fine! Reading is not a pleasure at this stage. It’s hard work and you don’t want to make it a chore and turn them off.’ 

Relax and unwind: Some parents said children should not be made to read over the holiday

Another pointed out: ‘A lot of children aren’t ready to read at the young age they are expected to in this country.’ 

However many others urged the mother to try and make her child read, pointing out the potential detrimental effects if she stopped. 

‘I don’t know about everyday but the whole holiday is too long to leave it,’ one wrote. ‘Kids can lose a lot of progress over summer.’

Academic risk: Others pointed to the negative impact a complete break could have

Another shared her own experience, writing: ‘We slacked off with [my son](who’s nearly 8) over the holidays and I regretted it as he went backwards.’ 

Parents also suggested the mother swapped ‘formal’ reading for more fun activities, such as trying to read menus, signs and shopping lists, to encourage her daughter to read more without the pressure of sitting down with a book. 

A teacher and parent weighed in, saying: ‘I ease off my own children over the break. They do read, but only want that want to. Usually Tom Gates and graphic novels with my two. I just let them relax. School is very intense and they need it.’

Advice: Several shared their tips for encouraging a child to read without the pressure



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