Gearing Up for the Summer: Tips for Year-Round Readers

This post was originally published as a guest post by LitWorld on Booksource Banter.

As tradition goes, summer break is a time for exploring new places, making new friends and discovering new interests. It’s a type of social-emotional development that can, and should, go hand-in-hand with year-round learning.

But for some kids, summer break and ten weeks away from school can put them at risk for summer learning loss. The “summer slide” is a well-documented phenomenon in which children lose significant ground on academic learning during the long break. The summer reading loss is responsible for approximately two thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap!

Studies have found that summer reading initiatives have a profound impact, but keeping kids reading during the summer months can be a challenge, especially for families who can’t afford the rising cost of summer activities which average $856 per child.

So, how can we help kids gear up for a summer that is equally enriching and enjoyable? Take these steps to prevent summer slide and help kids love reading year-round.

3 Steps You Can Take to Prevent Summer Slide

1. Tap into the joy.

As parents and educators, you can create a joyful reading environment in your homes, summer schools and beyond. Positive reading experiences and affirmational learning environments can be absolutely transformational in a child’s reading life. Encourage their own reading journey and you may find their enthusiasm for summer reading has grown!

2. Emphasize choice.

Before the end of the school year, ask your kids about the types of texts that they love the most and emphasize this kind of reading during the summer. Even if their required list isn’t flexible, kids will read more enthusiastically when they feel confident about their identity as readers! Check out these home and classroom resources from Booksource to encourage reading choice this summer.

3. Get resourceful.

Districts all over the country are ramping up their summer reading programs to meet the needs of kids and families everywhere. Public libraries are also great resources for summer reading programs and of course great books! Start your research now and be sure not to miss any exciting events in your neighborhood.

With planning and preparation, we can turn the summer slide into the “summer leap” for our kids, making this their best summer yet!