Tips for Preventing the Summer Slide

Many parents have heard the scary-but-true statistic that children who do not read over summer break can lose up to two months of reading achievement. According to Reading Rockets’ review of 13 empirical studies on summer reading loss, over time, this can create a compounded achievement gap of 1.5 years before a child has even reached middle school.

The good news: it’s not hard to curb summer reading loss. With a little effort, you can help your child continue to strengthen that “reading muscle” and prevent the dreaded summer slide.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Set a daily minutes goal. Goal-setting gives children ownership of their learning. So, incorporate reading into the summertime daily routine by setting a goal of minutes to read each day or week Start a new family tradition to all read together in a comfortable spot before bedtime.
  2. Keep a “summer memories” journal. Writing and reading are essential, interconnected skills. Have your child jot down the events of each day, record the stops on your family road trip, or write real-time observations of daily life in your home over summer vacation.
  3. Focus on a subject of interest. For some children, a new hobby or interest sparks exploration. So, if your child isn’t eager to read novels, try digging into topics that do get him or her excited, exploring books, websites, blogs, and magazine and newspaper articles on those topics.
  4. Talk about it. You can enrich your child’s reading time by talking about the books he or she is reading as well as the characters, plot, plot twists, and what your child thinks will happen next.
    1. – Contributed by Dr.Ray Huntington,
      Co-owner of Huntington Learning Centers