Stop the Summer Slide in Your Student’s Reading Skills
Researchers know that children tend to lose academic knowledge and skills over summer vacation, and experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.
One study by Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning states, “lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22% of the school year…It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.”
Help those students maintain or improve their reading skills over summer break. Here are 14 tips for getting children engaged in and excited about reading this summer.
- Involve child in choosing appropriate material — Taking ownership increases motivation, so find books or magazines based on their hobbies and interests. Make sure the material is at a reading level that is challenging, but not frustrating.
- Make a date with a librarian — Librarians will help locate books based on interests and reading ability. Check out your library for summer reading programs and a huge supply of great books.
- Lead by example — Actions speak louder than words, so let your child see you reading the newspaper or curling up with a good book. For younger readers, go ahead and read together with you reading a page and them reading the next.
- See reading everywhere — Show how important reading is in everyday life by asking them to read the recipe while you make something together or read signs as you go about your day.
- Set goals, chart progress — Setting and meeting goals increases
pride and confidence. To keep track of comprehension, visit www.bookadventure.com where kids can answer questions about the
books they read and get points that can be redeemed for prizes.
- Learn, listen, and discuss — Asking good questions shows interest and helps the child read for meaning.
Instead of “did you like the book?” use open ended questions like “which character did you like the best and why?”
How would you describe the book to someone who didn’t read it?”
- Create a book-of-the-month for your child — Send them a book anonymously once a month. Kids love getting mail and will see it as a present instead of a chore. This is a great way for grandparents to get involved.
- Read the book, then see the movie — Use the excitement of an upcoming movie to get them to read the book. Then see the movie and discuss the differences between the two versions. They’ll quickly learn that books are better. This can be done with videos as well.
- Bring books when you hit the highway — Books are terrific because they are portable and don’t need any batteries or wires. Audio books are also great for getting kids to see the value in the great stories found in books.
- Give TV a timeout — According to a U.S. Department of Education study, the average kindergarten student has spent more than 5,000 hours watching television. Cutting down on TV time will create more time for your child to tune into reading.
- Have a bookshare — Get a group of kids and adults to read a book of their choice and then get together and have everyone share their book and what they liked about it. Then swap books so everyone goes home with a different book.
- Reach out for resources — There are plenty of wonderful reading programs, book lists, and good ideas out there. Seek out teachers, librarians, community education, and the internet for ideas and assistance.
- Write the author — Have the child write the author of a book they liked. This makes them feel special and more involved with books. Many authors will write back which really adds excitement to books.
- Make it FUN — Kids like doing things that they enjoy and are good at. The more they read, the better they will get and the more they will want to read.
Your child does not need to engage in all of these reading tips at once. Begin by selecting the reading tips that are most meaningful and fun for you and your child.
A home-reading program can also help close the learning gap that can develop over summer break. Read Naturally’s One Minute Reader is perfect for school-to-home programs and can be especially useful during long vacations. The stories are engaging for students of all ages, and the simple steps make it easy for parents to manage at home.
We offer a Free PowerPoint Presentation that can be used in a parent meeting to teach parents how to use the materials at home with their children. If you are interested in receiving this PowerPoint with additional presentation materials, please call Jerry Rislove at 800.788.4085 or 651.452.4085, ext. 8735, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.