The “summer slide” is the term given to the regression students experience after they spend a summer break without reading. While research shows that the phenomenon disproportionately affects low-income households, any child who spends months without reading is likely to experience summer loss of reading skills. Planning activities that include reading and writing not only battles summer slide but also makes for some fun summer adventures.
- Create theme days centered on your child’s favorite book. Be creative! Each family member can dress up like a character and come up with activities, a field trip destination or food related to the book.
- At the end of a trip or event, involve kids in creating a family album. Include not only photos but captions, anecdotes from family members, as well as drawings, ticket stubs and other mementos.
- Sign up for a summer reading program and let your children pick how many books and magazines they plan to read this summer. The best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer.
- Who doesn’t love to get mail? Encourage your children is send vacation postcards to family and friends with notes on the back they write themselves.
- Encourage young children to read aloud to family pets.
- Write stories, round-robin style. Start your children off with a sentence or two to set the stage, then pass the paper around to each member of the family, who also adds a sentence or two. The finished story is sure to be something unexpected and hilariously funny. Don’t forget to illustrate.
- Encourage your young thespians. Let them put on a show for the family, acting out favorite scenes from favorite books.
Smart Start Central Oklahoma just launched a Stop the Summer Slide campaign filled with resources to provide learning opportunities to help children stay engaged in learning during summer break.