As summer approaches, a list of fun activities race through the minds of students: vacations, making smores, participating in summer sports, hanging out with friends until the street lights come on, and most importantly, NO SCHOOL for almost two months! But what about reading? Can reading be part of what kids consider “summer fun”? I emphatically believe that reading CAN be an enjoyable summer activity that not only can take kids to new worlds and teach them life lessons, but can prevent the dreaded “summer slide” syndrome.
What is “summer slide”? Summer slide is the idea that students lose critical skills that they gained during the school year during the summer months. Often when the dismissal bell rings on the last day of the school year, kids joyfully skip out the door, and learning slows WAY down… or even screeches to a halt during the summer months.
So, what can be done about the dreaded “summer slide”? If you are able, sign your child up for a summer book club. Book clubs encourage critical thinking and deeper engagement with stories. Book clubs, facilitated by a qualified teacher, provide a safe space for students to interact with each other, enabling them to participate in rich literary discussions about a particular book. This focused interaction develops their language and conversation skills, which is something that students can apply to many other academic areas.
What’s the bottom line here? “Summer slide” is a real issue for many students and can have devastating long-term effects. However, summer book clubs provide a myriad of benefits for students! A quality book club encourages teamwork, develops students’ abilities to listen to others and contribute to conversations around books, and so much more. So, STOP THE SLIDE! Consider enrolling your child in a book club this summer.