Did you know that summer slide, the phenomenon of declining academic achievement from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next, is due in large part to a lack of reading in the summer? Researchers have demonstrated that students who read less in the summer, due to less access to print materials or a lack of opportunity, experience summer loss.
Thirty years of research has demonstrated that summer slide can be reduced or eliminated by providing access to books and opportunities for reading. “The two largest contributions to reading achievement were access to interesting books and student choice of the books they would read…The effects of reading four or five books over the summer months was ‘potentially large enough to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from spring to the fall.'”[Excerpted from Not This, But That: No More Summer Reading Loss, by Carrie Cahill, Kathy Horvath, Anne McGill-Franzen and Richard Allington (edited by Ellin Oliver Keene and Nell K. Duke)]
What can families do about summer slide?
- Visit the public library to check out books, attend read-aloud sessions, and participate in summer reading programs.
- Have a routine time for reading with your child.
- Discuss what your child is reading.
- Set goals and make a list of books that your child intends to read over the summer.
- Be a reader and writer yourself. Share what you are reading with your children.
- Read aloud to your reader.
- Encourage your child to choose the books she or he reads. Self-selection is important for motivation.
- Help your child choose books that are “comfortable” reads. Listen to him or her read aloud a page or two and determine if he or she can read the words easily.
- Read a variety of print materials including books, poetry, and joke books, magazines, websites, vacation brochures, newspapers, travel books, sports pages, etc.
- Encourage your child to write – postcards, letters, emails, journals and sticky notes.
- Check out the APS Library Services website for summer eBooks and other reading links.
- Visit the websites listed under Summer Reading Websites, Book Lists for Students, and Summer Reading Tips for additional summer reading fun ideas!