As former teachers, we remember the students that returned in September ready to learn new skills, not having lost last years’, as a breath of fresh air. However, not all students will have the ease of transitioning into new skills without weeks, sometimes months, of classroom review.
Throughout the summer months, some students are known to regress in their learning and language development while not in school. This is referred to as the summer slide when a student slides backward academically over the summer. Summer slide creates a challenge for teachers and students.
Here are a few tips to help beat the summer slide:
- Visit your local library! Help your child find the “right fit” book. Right fit books are of high interest to your child and not beyond their reading level. You can use the five-finger test to determine if the book is appropriate. Open the book to a page with many words. Have your child begin reading the text. Hold up a finger for each word they don’t know. If you have 4 or 5 fingers up, the text may be too difficult for your child to read independently. Feel free to still check out the book, it just may be a book you read together.
- Make sure your child reads at least 20 minutes a day. According to research, a child who reads only 1 minute a day outside of school will learn 8,000 words by the end of sixth grade, where a student who reads 20 minutes a day outside of school will learn 1.8 million words. That’s huge! If reading isn’t one of your child’s top priorities, you may need to set up a reward program.
- Set a good example. When your child sees you reading and enjoying a book or a newspaper article, you are sending a message that reading is important and valuable.
- Read to your child, they will hear the rhythm of language. Be sure to read with expression. Changing your voice for different characters and increasing your volume during exciting parts are just a few ways to help keep children engaged.
- Read for different purposes. Reading directions for a recipe or directions for assembling a toy aloud, are fun ways to incorporate reading into everyday activities.
Have a happy and healthy summer!