3 ways to help your kids prevent the dreaded ‘Summer Slide’

Ready your kids for the next school year... now
3 ways to help your kids prevent the dreaded ‘Summer Slide’
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Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they’ve learned during their nearly 2 1/2 month summer breaks. This is known as the “summer slide.” The U.S. Department of Education has studied this phenomenon for decades; they find students lose reading skills first.

MORE: 7 Tips to help parents make summer reading fun

Reading specialists, who partnered with book company Scholastic, recommend trying these strategies to help your reader improve his or her reading skills during the summer and beyond:

Pick six books to read this summer, now. Research from Scholastic shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. So how do you pick those six books? Experts say make sure they are not too hard or too easy. For further help, they recommend taking advantage of your local library and librarians. There, you can ask for help choosing books that match your child’s age, interests, and abilities. Local libraries also run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, like Madison Public Library’s “Summer Reading Club.” Learn more about that here.
Read something every day. Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Scholastic recommends spacing those opportunities throughout each day. Here are some examples:

Morning: Read the newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today’s weather.
Daytime: Check out schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your daughter likes the Food Network, help her look for a recipe on the network’s website; then, cook it together for more reading practice.
Evening: End the day by having your child read aloud to you from the book he or she is currently reading. This can be one of the books above. Have them rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help your reader be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression.

Keep reading aloud. Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, according to Scholastic, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can’t, so he or she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase their knowledge and expand their experience with text, so that they will do better when they read on their own.

Reading specialists agree it is hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. The bottom line: try to make at least a little time for reading each day.

3 ways to help your kids prevent the dreaded ‘Summer Slide’

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