There’s lots of research showing that kids can lose reading skills over the summer months – and in fact lose something like one full month of learning by the fall. This is a real phenomenon – starting with kids as young as first graders – and for many kids it means that they will be playing catch-up when school starts up again. So how can you prevent the slide?
In principle, it’s pretty simple – you need to keep your kid reading throughout the summer. And it doesn’t matter so much what they are reading (it can be fun stuff) as long as they are reading consistently. But the problem is that without the structure of the school year (and we all like a break from that routine), it can be easy to let reading slide.
Given this, I’m pleased to be able to share a video chat I conducted with Target’s Mommy Ambassador Soleil Moon Frye (aka the former Punky Brewster). She shares fun ideas about finding ways to keep kids reading, including things that work well with her daughters. Just click on the link below to hear her good thoughts on preventing the summer slide:
It happens every summer — once the 4th of July passes, summer feels like it’s slipping away. So it’s a good time for all of us parents to remind ourselves that our kids should be reading this summer because before you know it, the first day of school will be here.
You all have heard about the summer slide. Not reading over the summer can set kids back quite a bit once school starts rolling again. That’s reason enough to make sure your child is reading, ideally a little bit everyday.
But I think there’s more than that. Summer is a great time to convey to your child that reading is a terrific way to spend free time. To that end, experts have encouraged parents to let their kids select books that interest them. You don’t have to make sure your kid is reading something “educational” as long as it’s around the comfort (or “just right”) reading level for them. But it can be about anything that’s acceptable material to you, and fun for them.
In addition to letting them find a book that they really want to read, it’s also great to sit with them and read yourself. It doesn’t have to be for a long time (we’re all busy), but taking time to read together (even if it’s 15 minutes) sends the message that reading is a leisure activity (not just something you have to do). And it’s really great to talk to children a little bit to find out what’s happening in their book — giving them a chance to share their enthusiasm facilitates their comprehension and their ability to summarize what they’ve read.