Get Back to School Ready: Stop the Summer Slide
Not THAT slide – THAT slide we want. But let’s keep any sliding IN the playground this summer. Reading sliding? That’s the one we’re stopping.
Especially in the early, foundational elementary school years, the summer slide is a huge risk. Kids can lose up to one month of their previous year’s learning over the summer.
They are JUST hitting their stride in reading and writing so why not at least maintain what they’ve learned during the year?
But we’re not talking about summer school. We’re not talking about tutors. And we’re not talking about loooonnnng days at a desk stacked with worksheets while their pals are playing outside.
You know me – I’m a lover play. That they need too.
Here are my best strategies to minimize the summer slide.
1. Have your child read aloud to you every day for 15 minutes.
Have a reluctant reader? Pick an easier book for them to work on their reading fluency. Encourage them to read more quickly and with funny voices/accents for each character.
A stronger reader? Pick a chapter book that interests them.
2. Check out your local library’s book club.
Many libraries run reading challenges and contests for kids each summer. Have your kids take part.
3. Have your kids spend 10 minutes a day writing in a journal.
Use writing prompts or have them write a few sentences about what happened the previous day.
Here’s a short checklist for them to go over once they are done:
-Letters the proper sizes?
4. Read to them every day.
No matter how skilled they are at reading, their reading comprehension will continue to improve from YOU reading to them. Take a book with you wherever you go. Waiting at a restaurant? Read for a few minutes. Rest break at the park? Read to them. Finished breakfast? Read to them.
5. Have your kids help plan a trip.
Going on a vacation? Taking a day trip? Pull out the paper maps or google maps. Check out some sites online. Have your kids read these and help plan the itinerary.
The beauty of these tips is that they can ALL be integrated easily into your summer routine. And with just a few minutes a day, your kids will hit the ground running with confidence when school starts in September.