‘If a child does not read during the summer holidays, the level deteriorates’

Reading books is extremely important for a child’s development, but it is well known that they read less and less. Especially during the summer holidays, the so-called summer reading dip. Jorien Castelein, director of the educational publisher Blink, addresses this issue together with authors and schools.

You may be thinking: why a summer reading decline? Do children not have time to read during the summer holidays? According to Jorien, children read mainly in school. “Very few people also pick up a book or magazine at home. You learn to read in a completely different way than, for example, mathematics. There you learn rules that you have to apply, but reading works like a muscle. To develop your muscles, you need to exercise regularly. If a long summer holiday comes in between, you do not develop the muscles and you develop a backlog. This is especially true for children who have difficulty reading or are still in the early stages of their reading process. Once a child is a competent reader, we do not see that relapse. Then it is in your system in such a way that you can always retrieve it again. ”

reading motivation

According to Jorien, the reading delay in children is very large if you compare it with ten years ago. The PISA survey shows that the Netherlands is even in last place when it comes to reading motivation. This means that children enjoy reading and enjoy doing so. “I think this is because in Dutch education we primarily focus on the reading technique rather than on the content. That needs to change. In order to be able to read better, it is important that children often do that, that they talk about it with others and think about the content. Fortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of this, including the schools. I am convinced that we can take that step in the Netherlands. “

Blink summer reading

To tackle the summer reading downturn, Blink and three children’s book authors take up the challenge in Blink’s summer reading. These three summer stories take place in the child’s school with their own teacher and principal in the lead role. With this, Blink and the authors want to make reading during the holidays exciting and challenging. “We came up with this concept with teachers and children. We talked to them and asked what we could do to get them to read. Some important things came out of it. First of all, the story has to be exciting enough. In addition. the book must not be too thick.It is also important that they get into the story quickly, that they are gripped by it.Finally, children like when their friends also read the book.Talking about it makes the story more fun.It found “We often see reading as an individual activity, but to read better it is actually really good to read together and also talk about what you have read. It also appears from scientific research.”


“We want a future where all children read for pleasure. We have also wondered if reading is actually still necessary at this time. But it is important to function well in society. Think about applying for jobs, reading information leaflets about medicine and understand forms from the tax authorities.It is also important for your personal development.Assume that you are in love and you will express to the other in words what that person means to you.It requires a lot of language.The same goes for a conflict. By reading you get example situations in your head. There are all sorts of routes in your head that you can refer to when you are in a beautiful, complicated or sad situation. It helps you to become the one you want to be. be, and live a life that makes you happy. The chance is much less for children who can not read well. “

The role of parents

What also plays a role in children’s reading behavior is the role of parents. If parents enjoy reading and children grow up with it, they read much more often and much better than children whose parents do not. Jorien: “Read a lot with your child. Read to your child, even at a later age. Reading or reading together is such an effective way to help your child learn to read better. Make it a ritual or integrate it into your routine. Keep your child’s interests in mind. It does not have to be difficult books either. If your child just wants to read comics, this is a good start. Talk together about what you are reading. Change your thoughts: ‘What struck you?’, ‘How do you think it will go on?’, ‘Have you ever experienced something like this?’ It helps to increase the joy of reading. ”

Start on Blink summer reading

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