7 Ways to Prevent the Summer Reading Slide

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By Jason Marshall, Curriculum Coordinator at Faith

The summer holidays are typically a time for kids to kick back, play outside, and embrace the kind of freedom that only comes with being young and having minimal responsibilities. However, all of this free time can lead to the ‘summer slide’, a regression in academic proficiency due to summer break, and experts warn it is hindering kids’ progress when they head back to school. 

Studies have shown that students lose significant knowledge in reading over summer break, which tends to have a snowball effect as they experience subsequent skill loss each year. Educational researchers believe about 20 percent of a student’s school-year gains in reading can be lost during the 6 week break.

We know that Jesus is the master storyteller who shared stories of wisdom with many people and therefore we can only assume that he didn’t stop sharing stories and slide down the ‘summer slide’. The basic reading skills are not hard to maintain over the break and there are a number of things you can do to support your child this summer:

“Studies have shown that students lose significant knowledge in reading over summer break, which tends to have a snowball effect as they experience subsequent skill loss each year.”

1. Create Reading Rituals and Read Everyday

Set aside 10 minutes each day to read. Have your child read to you, read together or you read to them.

2. Talk About the Book

Talk about the pictures and ask your child questions about the book as you go. After reading, ask your child to retell the story to you. 

3. Have Fun and Read with Expression

Children love hearing and experimenting with lots of silly voices when reading stories with characters.

4. Make Reading a Part of your Family Time

You can integrate reading into daily activities by reading bedtime stories, visiting the local library and creating a comfy space for reading. Perhaps one morning your child could sit outside in nature, listening to the birds sing whilst enjoying a great book. 

5. Choose Books That are Interesting

Allow your child to choose books that match their likes, interests and reading ability (not too hard, but not too easy either). 

6. Share Different Kinds of Books

There are many different things your child could read- parables from the Bible cookbooks, picture books, non-fiction books or even magazines. 

7. Read the Same Book More Than Once

Snuggle up together and read your favourite books over and over again. This helps enhance your child’s confidence, word recognition, oral fluency and reading comprehension skills. 

 This summer I encourage you and your child to continue to read everyday. As it says in Proverbs 1:5-6,  “​​Wise people should also listen and learn even more. Even they can find good advice in words. Then they will be able to understand wise words and stories.”

Jason Marshall, Curriculum Coordinator

About the Author

As Curriculum Coordinator at Faith Christian School, Jason helps create primary units and student workbooks. He ensures the activities within the unit as well as the assessments align with the Australian Curriculum and are age appropriate and engaging for students. Jason joined the Faith community at the beginning of 2022 after spending a number of years as an early year’s teacher. He has a passion for empowering young students through the power of education and loves seeing children succeed in all areas of life. When he is not busy writing curriculum for Faith, he enjoys spending time with his family by the beach or heading out in the campervan exploring God’s wonderful creation.

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