Avoiding the Summer Slide

Summer Reading Adventures for You and Your Kids

“No more classrooms, no more books, no more…” Waaaait a minute. No more books? Reading should be a favorite summer activity!  It helps students to avoid the dreaded summer slide.  The “summer slide” is when children lose skills learned during the school year.  For many children, learning slows way down or even stops during the summer months. Summer reading is critical, not only for helping kids maintain learning while school is out, but also for fostering development, discovering the joy of stories, and elevating the importance of lifelong learning.

Check out these five tips to maximize summer reading:

1. Talk it up. The way we speak about reading can impact how our kids feel about it. Talking about reading in terms of a reward we get to enjoy, rather than a chore, makes them feel more positive about settling down with a book. During the summer, I say, “We get to have reading time after lunch!” rather than, “We have to read after lunch!” to motivate them to grab a book.

2. Find a special reading spot. Entice them with a cozy nook they can use for reading. A hammock on the porch that sways in the breeze or a fort built with spare blankets are great places they can retreat to and get lost in a good book. I keep a basket in our living room with seasonal books for easy access.  I just updated it with all our summer themed books. 

3. Read what they are reading. I have always enjoyed reading with my kids as well as my grandkids.  Whether I am reading to my littles, letting my beginner readers read to me, or reading the same book as my teenagers so we can discuss it.  No matter what age or stage, reading together is just more fun!

4.  Get your child a library card. A library card offers the opportunity to try out new titles. When kids choose, they read! Summer is their time to choose.  Getting your child a library card holds them accountable to keep track of the books they borrow and make sure they are returned promptly. Children take pride in knowing they are in charge of their card and their books. In our family, we make a big of a deal out of getting a library card for our children.  It is almost as good as getting a drivers license.  Almost.

5.  Join a summer reading program. Our very own Hampton County Library located at 12 Locust Street East, Hampton is offering “Oceans of Possibilities” Summer Reading Program.  Registration begins June 1.  Children turn in reading logs July 11-15. They will be entered to win cool prizes.  There are weekly programs they can attend as well that include storytellers, tower gardening, crafts, puppet shows, and ocean science!

You will be so glad you committed to summer reading when the new school year rolls around again.

Previously published in Hampton County Guardian and Bluffton Today.

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