Practical tips for your state, district, classroom, or in partnership with your child's school.


Ways to Curb the Summer Reading Slide

As summer approaches, many parents begin to worry about the "summer slide" – the loss of academic skills and knowledge that can occur during the long break from school. One area where this slide can be particularly pronounced is reading. However, with a few simple strategies and resources, parents can help prevent the summer slide in reading and ensure their children continue developing their literacy skills throughout the summer months.

Three Tips for Summer Reading

  1. Encourage children to read for pleasure. Summer is a great time to explore new genres and topics that children may not have explored during the school year. Parents can take their children to the library, where they can choose books that interest them. Parents can also model good reading habits by setting aside time each day to read with their children and talking to them about what they are reading. 
  2. Ask your child questions while reading. Parents can engage in a conversation with their children about books. You can ask questions before, during, and after reading (in Spanish). You can also point out interesting or unfamiliar words, and discuss word meanings. Talking about books, answering questions, and re-telling stories helps children develop their ability to understand language. 
  3. Incorporate literacy into everyday activities. Parents can encourage children to read food packaging labels or write letters to friends and family members. They can also use educational apps and games to reinforce reading skills in a fun and engaging way. When traveling, look for letters on signs you see. Find ones that have a letter in your name and say its sound. When playing at home, use toys and games to talk about how spoken words are made up of sound parts.

Ideas for Reluctant or Struggling Readers

The 3 Tips above are great for all readers, but if you have a child who struggles with print or who doesn't like to read for pleasure, try one of these ideas:

  1. Use Audiobooks. Audiobooks provide a unique and engaging way for children to explore literature, improve their vocabulary, and develop comprehension skills. Parents can encourage their children to listen to audiobooks while engaging in various activities such as road trips, chores, or even relaxing at home. By using audiobooks as a summer slide support, parents can foster a love for reading, encourage independent learning, and ensure their children are better prepared for the upcoming academic year. Most libraries provide access to apps with free audiobooks. Check with your local library about access to Overdrive or Hoopla Digital.
  2. A.I. Story Generators. Have your child create their own story and read it to you! A.I. story generators allow children to add specific elements to a story and then the computer generates information based on that. This can create more interest and ownership of a story. Talk with your child about the story they have created and discuss ways that your child can move the story forward.

Summer Reading Resources

The Supporting Your Child's Reading Development Implementation Toolkit can help you find strategies, tips, and activities to help your child develop as a reader from preschool through adolescence.

Discover how parents and families can use everyday time together as an opportunity for learning and building reading skills with the Supporting Your Child with Reading Needs Implementation Toolkit.

Use these Reading Adventure Packs for Families from Reading Rockets to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.

Use the Reading Bear website to help guide activities in sounding out words and sentences!

For English Learners, try this REL Northeast & Islands page for Supporting Young English Learners at Home

Looking for children's books with diverse characters? Check out Maya's Book Nook!

Need a quick reference? Download this One Pager from Reading Partners about how to help your child read at home over the summer.


The Kid Zone!

Looking for more ways to engage your child this summer? Check out our Kid Zone! Where kids can listen, read, or play!

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