By Felicity LuHill
July 10, 2017
What is Summer Slide?
Summer Slide is a fun-sounding phrase for a serious issue. It’s the tendency to lose some level of knowledge or skill set achieved the previous school year during summer break. It is most likely to occur with struggling readers and children who “slide” out of practice during the summer months.
What kind of impact does it have?
Summer Slide can have long-lasting and costly effects. A study done at Johns Hopkins University found that 2/3s of the 9th grade reading achievement gap can be explained by lack of summer learning opportunities in elementary school. According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, research shows that reteaching forgotten material to students after summer break can cost over $1,500 per student each year!
How can you prevent Summer Slide?
Here are three ways you can prevent Summer Slide:
- Aim to read 6 books this summer: Just six books during summer break, roughly two books a month, is enough to keep your reader from regressing. They don’t have to be particularly challenging books, as long as they keep the reader engaged.
- Read out loud: At Barbershop Books, we’re always advocating reading out loud, but this is an especially important tool in the summertime when you have a struggling reader. Your reader may not want to put the work in to read during break, but just reading out loud to him can increase his comprehension, expand his knowledge, and further his engagement.
- Take part in fun, educational, summertime activities: For kids, summer is a time for something new and different. It’s time for an adventure. This kind of mentality is a great opportunity to incorporate something educational into what they like to do: plan a trip to the zoo and let your reader read out the information about the animals; make homemade popsicles and have your reader read out the instructions and measure the ingredients.
Take advantage of summer break and don’t let summer slide slow down your reader! This Wednesday, Barbershop Books is hosting an event that incorporates all of these methods and is meant specifically to prevent summer slide, The Barbershop Books Summer Book Giveaway. It’s going to be a fun-filled summer activity, with free books, fun read alouds, and free snacks!
- Godfrey, Neale. “Stop The Costly ‘Summer Slide.’ Turn Your Kid Into A Summer Entrepreneur.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 June 2017. Web. 10 July 2017.
- “Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide.” Scholastic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2017.