Whether it’s self-directed reading or parent-child read aloud, it will help to avoid the so-called summer slide. Studies show that children can lose up to two months’ of reading performance over the summer months, and research suggests that the unstructured activity of reading for fun will do more to keep children’s minds sharp and engaged than weeks of maths and science holiday homework.
Kim Klein, Head Librarian at Stamford American International School, explains why reading is so important.
"There are many reasons to read … to learn something new, to keep reading skills sharp, and also to dream, to laugh, to wonder, to grow!! That is why we encourage students and their families to read over the summer break. The more students read, the more proficient they become at reading and writing.
"Reading research supports summer reading as it helps maintain gains achieved through the previous school year. Along with having academic benefits, reading also has social-emotional benefits. Reading helps students see themselves in characters and stories and this helps students develop empathy and an understanding of people who may be different from them."
David Veinot, Teacher Librarian at GESS, adds:
"It would be safe to assume a month or two of school vacation may come to weeks of almost no learning for many children. And sometimes that leads to a backward slide in academic progress, also called summer learning loss.
"This phenomenon is not a myth. Research shows that students lose an average of one month’s worth of learning over the summer break. It happens and, quite frankly, it’s a huge deterrent for kids and teachers – who wants to “restart the engine” for the first four weeks of school, over diving into valuable learning?"
Mr Veinot offers five top tips to help parents prevent the “summer slide”.
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