by First Mate Keira
Most students see summer vacation as the time to cease all things educational. They refuse to do anything that feels like school work and unfortunately this includes some pretty important subjects and activities they should be practicing. This decline in grade level equivalency is what educators call the summer slump or summer slide. And did you know that by the end of elementary this could result in a two year deficiency in your reader?
What is the Summer Slide?
It’s important to note that most kids learn at the same rate during the school year. Summer slippage causes students to fall behind which causes a host of problems for the student once school restarts.
It’s a significant loss of learning retention across several core subjects like reading and math. Summer slippage usually affects lower-income students and is a big factor for achievement gaps seen at school. Bad reading habits over the summer can cause summer slippage in other less disadvantaged students too.
I’ve seen various claims but the general idea is that students lose approximately 1-3 months of learning due to bad summer habits. On the other hand, students who read over the summer actually make learning gains.
Considering a school year in America is 9 months that is a severe loss for a student especially if their classmates are readers. Not only will they be behind, but their friends will be ahead. Your student will be fighting to get back on top all year only to end up behind again because they see summer as the time to stop thinking about learning.
Why is Maintaining Reading Levels Important?
Reading is a skill. If you don’t practice, you won’t get any better. You won’t develop the skills reading teaches or obtain the ease and speed that comes with time.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison
Reading makes all class assignments easier and that is why this post is focused on ways to combat the decline in literacy over the summer.
13 Ways to Stop the Summer Slide
Preventing summer slippage is easy. Reading consistently is the key. Look below for ideas on how to increase your child’s exposure to reading over the summer.
- Visit the Library and Get a Library Card
- Read a Book a Week
- Read a Summer Book List
- Write Mini Book Reports
- Start a Summer Book Club
- Listen to Audio Books
- Hire a Tutor
- Make Reading Play-Dates with Friends
- Go to Summer School
- Go on a Book Shopping Spree
- Read Together
- Host an Audio Book Party
- Have a Reading Picnic
Your turn: Do you have a child who hates reading? What have you done to encourage reading over the summer?