The summer slide occurs when children’s reading progress from the school year declines over the summer. In the last few years, children also have to contend with progress loss from the disruptions of the pandemic, including illness, missed school days, classroom closures and online learning. Luckily, there are some easy steps to take to ensure that children can retain and even improve their reading progress over the summer:
- Have books in your home. Keep books in your living room, kids’ bedrooms, even in the car. Children are naturally curious and will explore books on their own if they are bored. Cycle library books out for new ones once they are due to keep your stash fresh and interesting.
- Include graphic novels, nonfiction and audiobooks in the mix. Reading different formats can help children who are struggling know that reading can be for fun, not a chore.
- Read for fun. If children view reading as a chore, they will lose interest fast. Keep them engaged by letting them pick books based on interest rather than reading level. A book that has great pictures and content but is too difficult will capture their attention much better than a book that is at their reading level but lacks engaging content.
- Read with your child. Often once children learn to read in grade 1 or grade 2, those fifteen minutes of reading together in the evening disappear. Why not continue the tradition by taking turns reading to each other? Read aloud a book that you loved as a child and discuss it. Not only will this foster a newfound appreciation for reading, but it can also help reluctant readers improve their confidence, comprehension and vocabulary.
- Make it a daily habit. Studies show just ten minutes of reading a day can prevent the summer slide. Incorporating these ten minutes into your family’s routine can set up life-long reading habits.
- Model good reading. Talk about what you’re reading with your child, and ask them to share thoughts on their books as well. Children learn by imitating adults in their lives, so if they see you reading, chances are they will pick up on your enthusiasm.
- Visit the library. The library is running our beloved summer reading game in person this year, which gives kids a chance to earn extra rolls on our giant game board and win prizes for reading. We have a summer reading game for adults, too. And if your child is finishing grade one this June, ask at the Information Desk or Bookmobile for a Grade One Reading Kit!