Exams are done, coursework is handed in, and the sun is shining. It’s time for the highly anticipated summer holidays – relaxation, adventure, and creating lasting memories. While the temptation to set books aside and immerse ourselves in leisure activities is strong, there is immense value in utilising this time to indulge in the written word.
Reading over the summer holidays ahead of the next school year can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth, enhanced learning, and academic success. In this blog post, we explore the reasons why dedicating time to read during the summer break is not only beneficial but also a pathway to thriving in the upcoming school year. We’ll also give you some of our recommendations and ideas for what to read before you return to The Global College in September.
Avoiding the Summer Slide
The concept of the “summer slide” refers to the learning loss that can occur when students are away from the classroom for an extended period. Without consistent academic engagement, students may experience a decline in their critical thinking skills, and overall cognitive abilities. Reading during the summer months actively combats this slide by keeping the brain active and continually exercising the mind’s capacity to learn and retain information.
Cultivating a Lifelong Love for Learning
Discovering the joy of reading during the summer holidays can instill a love for learning that extends well beyond the academic realm. When students are exposed to captivating stories, insightful non-fiction, or thought-provoking literature, they are more likely to see education as a journey of exploration rather than a mere requirement. This positive association with learning can lead to greater enthusiasm for school subjects, extracurricular pursuits, and a thirst for knowledge throughout life, something we encourage as we prepare our students for life at university and beyond.
Strengthening Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills
Reading actively engages the mind, encouraging readers to analyse, interpret, and think critically about the content before them. Whether it’s dissecting the plot of a novel or evaluating the credibility of information in a nonfiction book, the act of reading promotes cognitive agility and analytical prowess. These skills are vital for success across various academic disciplines and real-world problem-solving scenarios.
Building Empathy and Understanding
We’ve looked previously at the international classroom and what we do at TGC to embrace such wide diversity. Books often serve as windows into other worlds, cultures, and perspectives. By immersing ourselves in diverse literature, we cultivate empathy and understanding for people and situations different from our own. This heightened sense of empathy fosters open-mindedness, compassion, and the ability to collaborate effectively with others – all essential attributes for personal growth and success in an interconnected world.
So, let’s embark on this literary adventure, using the summer holidays to cultivate a love for reading, expand our minds, and strengthen our intellectual capabilities. By doing so, we can step into the new school year with enthusiasm, confidence, and an insatiable hunger for knowledge. The journey awaits – let the pages turn and the learning begin!
Our reading recommendations
This is not a must read, but rather a list of publications and articles that we think you might quite like. We suggest you select only a couple of these that spark and interest as reading for the beach, or viewing for those long plane, car, train, boat journeys that can often occupy the summer.
- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin
- Ways of Seeing, John Berger
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Business and Economics:
- Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different: A Biography by Karen Blumenthal
- Freakonomics – Steven Levitt and Steven Dubner
- “The Periodic Table”, by Primo Levi
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- The Kite Runner/A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- The Lost Continent or Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Stasiland by Anna Funder
- Why be happy when you could be normal; the memoir of Jeanette Winterson
Environmental Systems and Societies:
- Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, by James Lovelock
- L´étranger – Albert Camus
- No et moi – Delphine de Vigan
- Oscar et la dame rose – Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt
- Mous, Mirjam – Boy 7. Vertraue niemandem. Nicht einmal dir selbst.
- Jiménez, Inés María – Carlsen Clips: Dann geh doch die Welt retten
- Banscherus, Jürgen – Novemberschnee
- Blackman, Malorie – Peace Maker
- Johnson, Pete – Wie ich mein erstes Date (fast nicht) überlebte
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – By Carol Dweck
- Seven brief lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovell
- “You are not so smart” by David McRaney
- El infinito en un junco, Irene Vallejo
- Razón de teatro, Juan Mayorga