SUMMER READING LOSS
Summer reading loss refers to the decline in children's reading development that can occur during summer vacation times when children are away from the classroom and not participating in formal literacy programs (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2003). The reality of significant summer reading loss has been well documented in a variety of studies in student achievement. Of all the activities in which children engage outside of school, time spent actually reading is the best predictor of reading achievement. The more students read, the better readers they become (Allington, 2006; Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988). So, looking for exciting and interesting books and reading materials for your child will be beneficial and fun!
Here are a few ideas for encouraging your students to read this summer:
- Daily routines provide reading opportunities. Cooking, using the phone book, looking for information on the internet, reading directions for using a new gadget, or reading a brochure or article about a vacation destination are all ways to provide authentic reading experiences.
- Create a positive attitude about reading so that your child sees it as a reward instead of a punishment. Model how to use reading to learn about hobbies or interests. Read together and share about what you have read.
- Books and other reading materials can be made available during transition times. Children can read on the way to a destination, or while waiting for an appointment.
- Make regular visits to the library and allow your child to explore different reading materials. Librarians can offer suggestions that might be a good match for a child's interests and reading level. And be sure to check out the summer reading activities for children that are offered through many libraries.
- Keep in mind that reading books that seem slightly below a child's reading level or books that have become "old favorites" can help a developing reader to build confidence and fluency.