No Summer Slump!
The Need to Read – Resisting Summer Learning Loss
Only a few students welcome summer as a time to relax with a stack of books. Most students understandably want a break from school and studying. At SpiderSmart, we never stop reading, teaching, and learning, even in the summer. More than that, we know that students can lose skills over the summer months, and therefore the need to read is real—and we are here to help!
Summer months are needed for students to take a break from the structure of school and experience new activities such as swim teams, summer camps, or family vacations. All of that is great. However, we also know that students can lose some of what they gained during the school year, suffering what is often known as summer learning loss.
The Brookings Institute notes, “On average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning.” If this sounds like it is potentially a lot of educational loss, it is. In fact, Forbes notes, “Children lose up to 40% of the gains they have made over the school year while on summer break, according to a new study.”
To avoid loss in reading ability, the solution is quite simple: keep reading.
If students read over the summer break, then summer learning loss is slowed. Brains engage and stay interested when students keep reading. The tricky part is often how to encourage reading on those lazy days when bike rides or video games are so inviting.
Scholastic, a major children’s education company and huge publisher, offers some tips:
- Allow your children to read all kinds of books. All school year students are told what to read, so let them choose what they want. A fantasy story with dragons and wizards instead of historical fiction? Sure! A mystery filled with suspense instead of yet another biography? Why not?
- Use your local library. Check out a variety or types of books. Keep them handy in the car, tucked in purses, or stuffed in a backpack. Take them with you. Read them anywhere and everywhere!
- Provide motivation. As a parent, express your interest. Ask questions, make gentle suggestions, and listen to opinions. Hear what your children are learning as well as what interests them. Initiating a conversation with plenty of questions makes students think about what they just read and share their ideas and opinions.
We can all help support students through the summer. At SpiderSmart, we offer special summer courses such as book clubs and public speaking as well as all our regular amazing programs to keep students’ minds growing all year long!