Reading may be your student’s favorite activity when school is in session, but without reinforcement during spring and summer break, many of their literacy skills will go dull. This seasonal gap in literacy has been an age-old struggle for teachers, inhibiting how effective they can be when school resumes in the fall.
“The evidence is clear: children do forget skills and knowledge learned in the previous school year. But if families and educators encourage kids to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer, students may not only maintain, but improve their knowledge.”
At the end of your students’ second-grade year, they are expected to be able to read and comprehend rich, complex fictional, and non-fictional texts. Students should be able to determine the central message, critical details, and character points of view as well as the author’s point of view.
This year, structured reading outside of the school environment is even more necessary. The pandemic has rendered families with a greater responsibility to make up for the learning disruption to ensure students are ready for the new school year.
As dire as this circumstance seems, structured reading and writing practice can be implemented to minimize difficulties for students. Here are a few simple ways you can help to ensure their literacy skills stay sharp throughout the summer while developing a life-long love for reading and writing.
Tips for Preventing the Summer Slide
1. Select an appropriately leveled book
Providing a book that is developmentally appropriate and fascinating to young readers is critical. We recommend choosing books that keep students thoroughly engaged without being effortlessly easy or frustratingly difficult to read. The Five-Finger Rule is a very useful method to use when deciding which books are best for a child.
2. Dedicate 30 minutes for reading each day.
Several studies indicate that students’ reading abilities decline or stall during the summer. Students who read at least 30 minutes a day encounter more vocabulary and build important reading skills. Explore these helpful tips for reading aloud to children, to enhance storytime.
3. Commit to 10-15 minutes of writing, three times a week.
Thirty to forty-five minutes per week is all it takes to help students improve letter and sentence formation. Our Building Writers program supports handwriting while helping students effectively communicate their evidence-based thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
4. Engage with the story and your reader before, during, and after reading.
The story itself may begin and end within the pages of the book. But a deep discussion and consideration of the meaning of these books can last a lifetime. Discuss the cover image and title with your reader before you begin reading. Pause throughout the book to discuss story elements that reflect your own life and encourage your child to share their reactions to the story after you finish reading.
5. Soar Ahead This Summer with Learning Without Tears!
Learning Without Tears can help you extend learning through summer, overcome obstacles, and start strong in the fall. Explore our new learning bundles for students, perfect for learning at home or in school. Learn how you can launch your own summer handwriting camp. No matter where your students learn, in just minutes a day, they can enrich their learning from now through the summer months.
Having trouble knowing where to start? Our Reading & Writing bundles provide instructions to structure your student’s summer reading around a carefully selected children’s book and our time-tested reading and writing materials. These new bundles will help you encourage students to read and write all summer long. Each bundle includes suggestions and at-home activities to reinforce reading, writing, and social-emotional skills.
In addition to our summer reading and writing program, we have additional free resources to support your students over the summer. Be sure to check out our letter and number formation charts, strategies to build sight word automaticity, and much more.
We are excited to partner with you to help reinforce reading and writing skills that stave off the summer slide and help children become critical readers and confident communicators.
Learning Without Tears seeks to help families, educators, and children get prepared for learning with innovative educational materials and professional resources. We want every child to be set up for success within every step of their learning journey, with engaging and worthwhile materials for children K-5. Regardless of if the child is learning within a classroom or at home, Learning Without Tears provides access to curriculums, industry insight, and enriching products that help make learning fun. Choose Learning Without Tears to feel confident that your child is getting the most out of their early childhood education.