Hope everyone is having a great July! Wow. We’re one week down already.
Welcome new readers to Just Read This, our (almost) monthly recap of what’s being published in the areas of family reading and literacy. Our goal is to pull out ONLY the content with application for everyday life. You’re already busy, and helping kids on their literacy journey takes time. We hope this makes it a little easier. Just Read This is short and sweet. We will …
- Answer a topical question.
- Share research and best practices.
- Offer reading and book suggestions.
Sometimes these items overlap and point you to areas of the Reading Tub where we have new information and resources.
What is Summer Slide?
Reading is a foundational skill, and all other learning is built on the ability to read. Decades of studies have shown that without access to books and reading students across all grades lose between 25-30 percent over summer.
- 10 Critical Facts about Summer Reading – Fact Sheet, Scholastic Inc.
- What Is Summer Slide? Richmond (VA) Public Schools
- Summer Learning Loss: What Is It and What Can We Do About It, Brookings Institute
- 5 Tips for Preventing Summer Slide, Children’s Literacy Initiative
News to Use
Headline: What We Know About Summer Learning Loss: An Update -The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), Cornell University published in Psychology Today
If families and educators encourage kids to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer, students may not only maintain, but improve their knowledge.
The article includes links to several recent studies that learning is a cumulative gap that keeps widening not just summer after summer, but during the regular school year, too. Does that mean you need to treat summer like a “regular” school day? No way! Learning comes in all forms, may not come from a book, and be so much fun everyone forgets the “educational value.” Consider these types of activities when engaging children and teens:
- Cooperative tasks or projects that require communication and teamwork, not competition.
- Require use of the 5 senses.
- Problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Sequential thinking, and/or forecasting (i.e., what do you think will happen).
Hands-on activities, in particular, offer a boost for learning retention.
Ready. Set. Summer!
Don’t get us wrong, keeping kids reading during the summer is really, really important. Especially this year, when COVID-19 obliterated the routines we had for school and continued learning. Life is stressful enough right now, so just be alert for “pop-up opportunities.” They usually come in the form of a question and look like curiosity. Let that be the starting point of something really interesting and fun.
- How to Entertain Your Kids this Summer? Maybe Don’t – Alexis Solosi, New York Times Summer Guide for Families
- DIY Summer Camp Ideas – Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup has nine different camp themes that you can do at home.
- 50 Things Families Can Do Over the Fourth of July Holiday – There are plenty of not-just-July-4th ideas to pick from: care packages to soldiers, make a time capsule, give gratitude, among others. Source: Common Sense Media
- #NoSummerSlide: 14 Weeks of Ideas for Family Fun and Learning – Last summer, we offered a family-oriented activity that just happened to have some learning built in. Everything from magic shows and scavenger hunts to spy camp, and scavenger hunts to bing a VJ or DJ … there’s something for everyone.
- #CampYouTube Summertime Activities for Youth – Lisa Nielsen, Innovative Educator blog
- Virtual Escape Rooms – The Vandergrift Public Library (VT) curates a list of digital-based escape rooms for kids, teens, adults, and families. All free of charge.
- 10 Museums Open Doors to Virtual Tours, Online Learning – Nina Guno has the list and links for visits at InqPOP.
- Virtual Daytrips for Summertime Middle Grade Reading – Jen Brisendine, From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors blog
- 12 Titles to Celebrate National Picnic Month – Laura at Literacious has a great idea. Indoors or out, who doesn’t love a picnic. Let the kids explore a cookbook then make the recipe!
- Everything Summer: Sights, Sounds, Sports and more – If it has an element of summer AND is a book we’d buy for ourselves, it made our short list of summer faves!