Preventing Summer Slide

by Kim Jenkins

Many teachers know and understand impact on students who spend very little time reading over the summer months, an effect known as the Summer Slide. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins University estimates that students may lose up to a month of academic learning over the summer months. Students with learning differences may have a more significant loss over the summer (Brown, Dale 2007; Strategies for summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia, LD Online). Encouraging students to read daily over the summer can help prevent this summer slide. Making reading fun is one way to help our students maintain and improve their reading skills. This blog will present multiple ways teachers can assist their families in making reading fun over the summer months and beyond.

Teachers can offer a variety of suggestions and recommendations for parents to keep their children engaged and reading over the summer, but the first step is to raise parents’ awareness of the importance of reading at home. Reading at home can help to maintain and/or increase students’ skills, foster a love of reading and help to prepare their student to return to school fully prepared to begin a new year of learning.

Reading at home should not be presented as a chore that must be completed each day, but as a fun time with maybe a little learning thrown-in as a bonus. Here are some suggestions to offer parents:

• Check out your local library. Many libraries offer a variety of reading programs and fun-filled activities over the summer. In addition, Barnes and Noble is offering a Summer Reading Program. For more information, click here or go to
• Take books everywhere. Books can help pass the time while waiting for a doctor or dentist appointment, and while traveling in the car during routine trips or vacations.
• Select books below your student’s current reading level, or reread old favorite books. Reading these books will help your child build their confidence and reading fluency
• Parents should model reading and read with their children. Families can read brochures or investigate a new place they will travel. Children might also enjoy reading a recipe or reading directions to complete a project or build a new gadget. When the activity is completed they will have something good to eat or the satisfaction of building something new.
• Listen to audiobooks while traveling in the car. You might like to continue reading a chapter from the same book while relaxing at home.
• Watch a movie, based on a book you have read, or an educational show on television. Use the closed captioning with little or no volume and encourage your child to read the dialogue.

Encourage families to read together and to be adventurous over the summer. Books can take you to faraway places, and let you learn new things. Make reading fun!


Brown, Dale 2007. Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia, LD Online.

Marketwired. 10 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide. May 16, 2016.

Mraz, Maryann; Rasinski, Timothy V. Summer Reading Loss. Reading Rockets.

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