This Summer Reading post is sponsored by Scholastic, but all thoughts are my own. See my previous post with resources to get started on your own Summer Reading Program!
The school year is finally winding down for us – as of next Tuesday the kids will finally be done with the 2014-2015 school year! It’s been an amazing one. They’ve had fantastic teachers and they’ve each learned so much.
Now the question that every parent asks as they change up the schedule from intense, structured, and busy to laid back, low-key, and unstructured is….how do we have fun during the summer without the kids losing everything they learned during the school year?
Research shows teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials to students because of the “summer slide”—the learning losses which can occur when school is not in session. (Alexander et. al, 2007)
While it might be impossible to retain everything, there are a few things that parents and kids can do to prepare for a strong back-to-school next fall. And still have an amazing, memorable summer!
Here are a few of the things that we have done to make sure that the kids don’t lose all the progress they’ve made in school while they relax their minds during the summer months.
How to Avoid the Summer Slide
- Set a daily schedule for reading – there’s something special about reading…yes, even reading for pleasure. Although kids may not be actively studying their other subjects, the simple act of “exercising” their brains through regular reading keeps their minds active.
- Head to the library regularly – we love hanging out at the library. Spending time at the library (and not just running in and out to pick up and drop off books) gets my kids in the learning/researching mindset.
- Set goals and incentives – make reading and/or learning something new a family and a personal goal, and set incentives for reaching certain milestones along their path. Make reading rewarding (if that’s what it takes to get them started).
- Explore your city/region – Exploring the sights and sounds at home is relatively cost and time-effective (no big vacation costs) but can be just as enjoyable. Try to learn something new at each outing. Track the places you’ve visited on a map or check list. And when you get home, continue learning by researching more about the location you’ve visited online.
- Don’t put summer packets off til the last minute – If your kids are like mine, then they probably ended the school year off with a packet of activities to finish before the end of the summer. Sometimes those packets can be pretty time-consuming (like the long-term book reports that they have to turn in during the first week of school). Do everyone a favor and start early!
- Make it a family affair – read together and discuss the books that you’ve read. Set family goals and be each other’s cheer leaders. This year, we’ve set a family goal to read 5000 combined pages before we head back to school in August.
How does your family avoid the summer slide?
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge (now in its 9th year) is a free online reading program dedicated to stopping the “summer slide” by encouraging kids to read throughout the summer months. This year’s challenge theme is “Power Up & Read,” powered by ENERGIZER®.
How does the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge work?
- Starting May 4, 2015 – September 4, 2015, kids can log their reading minutes (online and via mobile) as they read to break last year’s world record of 304,749,861 minutes.
- Parents can sign-up their kids at www.scholastic.com/summer. It’s FREE!
- Kids can also enter monthly sweepstakes to win prizes and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges.
- NEW! Kids can unlock 12 original short stories from favorite children’s authors and access never-before-seen videos from the authors! Each of the authors has written a unique short story using the same opening sentence, which is, “I glanced over my shoulder to make sure that no one had followed me into the shadowy library, then took a deep breath and opened the glowing book…”
- Authors include Blue Balliett, Patrik Henry Bass, Varian Johnson, Gordon Korman, Michael Northtrop, Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pierce, Roland Smith, R.L. Stine, Tui T. Sutherland, Lauren Tarshis, Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Jude Watson.
NEW for parents
- The parents site features new, daily tips for parents called “The Daily Digest.”
- Parents can enter weekly sweepstakes to win a “Power Up & Read Kit” and watch videos about summer reading activities to keep you “innovative” all summer long. The prize pack includes: Scholastic tote bag, water bottle, a copy of Reading Unbound by Jeffrey Wilhelm and Michael Smith, $10 gift certificate to Scholastic Store Online, Energizer® brand batteries, Scholastic books, and more.
- Parents can download free resources, including printables and booklists for kids of all ages.
Connect with Scholastic!
- Sign up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
- Find more Scholastic Resources to keep your kids reading all summer long!
- Learn more about the Energizer® Instant Win Game
- Follow @Scholastic on Twitter
- Like the Energizer® Bunny on Facebook
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