What is Summer Slide?
You may have heard the term “summer slide” from teachers or other parents, but what does it mean? Summer Slide is what happens when the skills students learn during the school year are lost or forgotten over the summer. When kids don’t practice their reading skills during the summer months, they can fall behind by the time school starts again. Summer may be winding down, but it’s not too late to polish up those reading skills in time for September!
Why is it so important to prevent Summer Slide?
When children don’t read over the summer, they can fall 2 ˝ years behind by 5th grade. It’s always important to support your child’s learning at home, and over the summer this is critical.
How can I prevent Summer Slide?
The best way to prevent Summer Slide is to make reading at home a priority. The good news is that practicing reading with your kids can be fun, and it’s a great way to keep your kids entertained! Here are 5 tips to get started.
1. Choose the Right Books
Think of this as the “Goldilocks Effect.” If your kid’s book is too easy, she’ll get bored. If her book is too hard, she’ll get frustrated and give up. When your child reads a “just right” book, she should be challenged but engaged. Ask your child’s teacher or a children’s librarian for help if you’re not sure what your child’s reading level is.
2. Set Goals
Sit down with your child and set some summer reading goals together. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to shoot for one book a week, or an hour of reading time a day. Make sure your goals are realistic, and set up a reward system. For example, if she finishes three books, take a trip to the movie theater or get an ice cream cone.
3. Make it fun!
Your kids will want to read if you sneak books into all the fun activities you do. Heading to the beach? Pack some books with you. Try going on a “reading picnic” in the park. Play games or puzzles together that will require your child to read words. Sing songs or nursery rhymes with younger ones.
4. Go the Library
Public libraries often have great summer programs for kids, and these are usually inexpensive or free. While you’re there, let your child pick out some new books – he’ll be much more excited to crack open a book if he chose it himself.
5. Read Every Day
Practice makes perfect, and reading is no exception! Show your kids that reading is a priority, and they will treat it that way too. In the meantime, enjoy snuggling up with your child and sharing a book – these moments will help establish a love of reading and a closer bond with your family.