The Summer Slide or Summer Regression is not something you find at the park. No, it is a proven fact that occurs every June, July, and August. Like most teachers and students I look forward to those summer weeks to recharge and have fun. But as an educator who works with struggling readers I cringe at the thought of them being out from underneath my wings from the middle of June to the first week of September. I've taught for over 20 years and I've read the research. I've seen the very evidence that research warns us about. Here are the facts:
"Research shows that children who do not read in the summers months can lose two to three months of reading development while those who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency." -Richard Allington & Anne McGill-Franzen. The Impact of Summer Setback on the Reading Achievement Gap. The Phi DeltaKappan. Vol. 85, o.1 (Sept. 2003), pp. 68-75
Research Suggests…that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills they achieved during the preceding school year. Reading more books leads to even greater success. When children are provided with 10-20 self-selected children’s books at the end of the regular school year, as many as 50 percent not only maintain their skills, but actually make reading gains. -McGill-Franzen & Allington. The Impact of Summer Setback on the Reading Achievement Gap. (Sept, 2003)
All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in education activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer. -(White, 1906, Heyns, 1978; Entweisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).
So what can you do to help avoid the "Summer Slide"? My first suggestion is to make reading FUN! Find as many ways as possible to show that reading isn't always just for school subjects. As well, set the example. If you're telling your kids how important it is to read, but they don't see you reading? Hmmmm? Get the picture?
And, because I feel so strongly about this I've done some of the FUN groundwork for you! Below are links to various summer reading challenge opportunities and some PDF documents you can print out at home. Enjoy! Have Fun! and READ!
Dr. Seuss Word Challenge Sign up and login! Help reach the goal of reading 20 millions words across the country!
Barnes & Noble Reading Journal This is a PDF you can print out. It lists books for grades 1-6. Read any eight books through the summer, write about your favorite parts and then earn a book from their book list provided!
Chuck E Cheese Rewards Complete this reading rewards calendar and earn 10 free tokens for Chuck E Cheese! I believe you can do this more than once throughout the summer, but only 1 per day.
DOGO Books Summer Reading Read and review 3 books on DOGObooks.com and earn a free book, then do it again!
Half Price Books "Feed Your Brain" This is very similar to a reading log. Read 15 minutes each day, have your parent initial the calendar. Once you've read 300 minutes you earn bookworm bucks. And there is a Half Price books on Everett Mall Way!
The two links below are documents that can be easily printed, posted on the fridge and used for motivation to find a fun way to read. Challenge the entire family to mark off as many as possible!
Summer Reading Bucket List
Summer Reading Challenge