An increasing consensus among professionals in the field is that children can fall behind in their reading skills during the time they are out of school over the summer. This tendency toward “summer slide” is especially serious among young students who spend little or no time reading. This is why schools and public libraries across the country continue to create and promote vibrant summer reading programs to give kids and their families opportunities to engage with books while they enjoy their summer vacations.
Parents can help children keep their reading skills sharp over the summer by reading together as a family and sharing print-based experiences frequently. For example, ask children to read recipes as they help prepare meals, read TV schedules to decide what to watch, or read aloud from any book that holds their interest. Ask children to dress up as their favorite character and act out parts. In addition, family time spent reading aloud is a great way to practice reading skills while bonding more closely together.
Another way to help maintain reading skills over the summer is to make attending free library and museum programs a priority. Whether these involve story times, science activities, or craft projects, they serve to engage everyone in learning together.