Preventing Summer Slide in Literacy
(Image by Lisa Burch from Pixabay)
Summer is right around the corner. While most kids and parents are looking forward to a break from the busy routines of the school year, many parents often worry about the effects of “summer slide” on their children's academic growth. Summer Slide refers to a child’s loss of academic knowledge or skills over the summer due to an extended period away from school.
Research has shown that the summer slide is real. In fact, the average student loses about one to two months of academic-calendar learning each summer. Older students tend to lose more over the summer than younger ones which can culminate over time into a gap of two to five years by the time students reach high school. Summer slide is one of the reasons that teachers have to spend the first one to two months of the new school year re-teaching material from the previous year.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent summer slide. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on how to prevent summer slide in literacy.
- Encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes every day and keep a reading log to record what they have read.
- Take a break from screen time. Some parents find it helpful to use screen time as a choice only after their children have done other things like reading, going outside or helping around the house first.
- Take advantage of your local library. Many libraries offer a summer reading challenge that can be very motivating for children particularly younger ones.
- Read aloud to your child daily.
- Practice writing by encouraging your child to keep a journal or write letters/postcards/emails to friends or relatives.
- Listen to books on tape while in the car for long trips.
- Enroll them in writing and reading summer classes such as Neighborhood Lit.
- Play family games together such as Scrabble, Boggle or Apples to Apples
- Check with your child’s school for additional suggestions. Schools often assign work or reading lists over the summer as a way to help prevent summer slide. Make sure you are aware of those assignments so that you can remind your child to complete them gradually over the course of the summer instead of waiting until the last minute.