Over the summer break, your student will lose 2.6 months of math skills, 2 months of reading skills, and the equivalent of 1 month of overall learning. Additionally, your child will have to spend the first six weeks of school in the Fall to recover this learning. But wait, here’s the truly disturbing statistic…if you add all of this up, by the time your student is in 6th grade, he/she can be an average of two years behind. I think a pause is appropriate here. Two years behind? So how, you may ask, do you help prevent this? Believe it or not, it’s actually very simple. Only 2-3 hours per week of dedicated reading or study time is needed to prevent these losses entirely. That’s it!!!
Let’s translate this for just a moment. It’s as simple as choosing 4-5 books for your middle schooler to read over the summer. You can start this process by taking a look at a good summer reading list. This list, compiled by scholastic, has something for every middle schooler, whether they struggle with reading or excel in it. So, go over it with your child, let them research the books that appeal to them, and then choose the 4-5 books they wish to read. By taking these simple steps, your child is now well on the way to eradicating some of the summer slide.
The next challenge you may face is scheduling. Just when and where should your child do their reading each week? If you’re taking a family vacation to the beach, this is the perfect place to take that book along. Laying out in the sun and sand or relaxing back at the hotel after a busy day of summer fun, provides the ideal setting for reading. Another suggestion is to have your child take a weekly trip to the local library to read. It’s quiet and made for the task. One last suggestion, if your child is the type that needs to wind down at night before going to bed, have them read then.
If you’re still concerned that your child will struggle with independent reading, you can always have them tutored once or twice a week. Contact Dynamis Learning Academy HERE to set up a time to have a conversation about anything that is of concern or to advance your child’s reading skills. Dynamis employs certified, experienced teachers and offers a variety of options for your child this summer. They will be conducting Book Clubs, which is a great way to engage your child in reading. Also, they can recommend personalized tutoring sessions, catering to your child’s individual needs. They even have SAT prep classes to get your child ready early for next year’s tests. This includes help with reading comprehension and grammar.
Whichever way you decide to go, please don’t let the summer slip by before deciding to do something about summer learning loss. It is a verifiable and permanent phenomena that can be easily prevented. If you decide to go the summer reading list route, remember, that like any other habitual task, it takes a couple of weeks to get into the groove of reading daily. Of course, once the tendency has been established, I’ll bet your child’s 2-3 hours per week turns into 2-3 hours per day.