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 provide 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 important. Families are being tasked with making up for the disruption of learning caused by the pandemic to ensure they are ready for the new school year.
As dire as this circumstance seems, structured reading and writing practice doesn’t need to remain a struggle for your student! There are a few simple ways to help ensure their literacy skills stay sharp over breaks in school and develop 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 fascinates young readers is critical. Be careful not to choose books that are frustratingly too difficult to read or are too basic to fully engage your student’s mind. 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 Writer’s 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 discussion and deep consideration about the meaning of these books can last a lifetime. Discuss the cover image and title with your reader before you begin, pause during reading 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 Boost program provides 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.
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