Keep reading to learn all about how to encourage summer reading for kids! Post includes information on what the summer slide is, how to prevent it, and how to make learning fun for your little ones this summer!
Summer is such a special time of the year! Our little ones are excited for a break from school & their usual routine…and so are we! We like to follow a flexible summer schedule like this one.
But don’t let a break from school mean a break from summer learning. That can lead to the dreaded summer slide, which is definitely something we want to avoid.
WHAT IS THE SUMMER SLIDE?
When students read during the summer months, they typically gain an average of a month of reading achievement. That’s great! But when they don’t read during the summer, they lose TWO months of reading achievement! Yikes!
This loss is known as the summer slide & it is a serious problem for our students.
According to Professor Lori Helman from the University of Minnesota, this yearly process of summer loss continues to add up throughout elementary & middle school, and it accounts for a large proportion of differences in student reading achievement.
Want some great summer book recommendations? Check out this post (coming soon)!
3 WAYS TO PREVENT THE SUMMER SLIDE
Professor Helman recommends parents do three simple things to prevent this summer reading loss:
- Show a natural curiosity for what your littles are thinking about and enjoying. If they love dinosaurs, read lots of dinosaur books! If they’re interested in princesses, read lots of princess books. No matter what they like, there’s a book for that!
- Share your own reading with your littles…let them see you read! In our house, we have “Family Reading Time” after dinner, which is a time when we are all reading our own books together. This is separate from the time we read aloud to our kids. We want them to see us reading our own books, too!
- Help your littles access books. Get ready for lots of visits to the library! And let them choose what to read…choice is one of the MOST important factors in determining that books will actually be read (and not sit dusty on a shelf!) According to Professor Helman, kids who are given a choice of books have demonstrated twice the reading gains compared to kids who were not.
Did I convince about the importance of summer reading?! If so, I have a great FREE tool you can use to keep track of your little one’s reading this summer!
SUMMER READING LOGS
These FREE Book-a-Day reading logs are perfect to encourage summer reading & fight against the summer slide. There is one tracker sheet for each month of the entire year, so you can print one for each of the summer months. Hang the tracker sheet for that month up on your refrigerator as a reminder that your little one should be reading all summer long!
HOW TO USE
You can use these reading logs in a few different ways:
- If your little one is not yet reading on their own, you can make sure to read to them (at least!) one book per day. Then have them color in the book for that day.
- If your little one is reading on their own, they can read one book per day (either to you or to themselves) and then color in the book for that day.
- If you want to read a chapter book to your little one, you can set the timer for 15-20 minutes*. Read until the timer goes off, and then have them color in the book for that day.
- If your little one is reading chapter books on their own, they can set the timer for 15-20 minutes*, read until the timer goes off, and then color in their book for the day.
*You can also break this time up into 2 or 3 different reading sessions throughout the day. Do what works best for your family!
You might also decide you’d rather use these as a way to keep track of how many books you read per month. In that case, you could color in a book for every book you read…you’d fill up that month’s log much faster that way! It’s really up to you & your family!
This activity (along with all of our freebies!) can be downloaded from the Free Activity Library. If you’re already a member of our email community, you can click HERE to head to the Free Activity Library, enter your password (it’s on your most current email from me), and download your copy!
If you’d like to join our email community & receive the password as my way of saying THANK YOU for joining, you can click HERE to subscribe. Once you enter your information, the password will be emailed to you within minutes.
Being intentional about summer reading is the best thing you can do to help your little one prevent the summer slide! How will you be sure to fit it in this summer? Comment below or find me on Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and let me know!