Written by: Natalie Fuertes
School’s almost out for summer! It’s time for sleeping in (yeah, right), days at the beach, and your kids asking for an endless amount of snacks. And while I’m a huge proponent of kids taking a break from the rigors of school and getting a chance to just play outside, the early childhood educator in me slowly seeps in and I can’t help but worry about the dreaded Summer Slide.
What is the Summer Slide?
It’s a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that occurs over the summer months when school is not in session. Studies show that students can lose two to three months of academic progress if they don’t read over the summer.
It has a significant impact on low-income students who may have more difficulty bouncing back during the school year and it's a contributing factor to the achievement gap - widening the gap in academic achievement among children from different socioeconomic levels, well into middle school and high school. By the end of fifth grade, the Summer Slide results in as much as a two year gap in reading ability between children who read enough during the summer and those who don’t.
How to Prevent it?
Children who read four or more age-appropriate books over the summer maintain their reading level and children who read 10-20 books over the summer are shown to actually improve their reading skills.
But how do you make reading fun over the summer, so that it doesn't seem like a chore or more homework? First step, throw the reading log away and show them all the fun that's in the pages of a good book.
Here's some great tips to put the joy back into summer reading:
This article from Motherly has some great, simple tips on how to make one in your home.
It’s a great chance for friends to chat with each other about a book they’ve recently read. Let them come up with an activity to go with the theme of the book - for example, you can set up a taco bar after they’ve read Dragons Love Tacos.
At home, we like to take a family vote and pick a chapter book. Then we’ll take turns reading a chapter out loud each night.
Head to your local bookstore, public library, or (shameless plug) our Book Fair with Astoria Bookshop at LIC Kids Gymnastics next Monday and Wednesday. Nearly 90% of kids say their favorite books are ones they have picked out themselves. So take them on a little shopping trip to pick out some new books for your home library!
Happy (summer) reading!
Need some suggestions for your home library? Here’s some great books for every level:
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Me gusta como soy!/I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
The Family Book by Todd Parr
Besos for Baby by Jen Arena
Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman
Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
I’ll See You in the Morning by Mike Jolley
It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
The Book with No Pictures by B J Novak
Islandborn by Junot Diaz
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
Elementary School Books:
Ada Lace, on the Case by Emily Calandrelli
Perfect Balance Gymnastics Series by Melisa Torres
Star Wars: Jedi Academy Series by Jarrett Krosoczka
Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
Charlotte's Web by E B White
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Daisy Dreamer Series by Holly Anna
Ivy & Bean Series by Annie Barrows
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Middle School Books:
The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle
Blended by Sharon Draper
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Wonder by R J Palacio
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
Treasure Hunters Series by James Patterson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Young Adult Books:
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas