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Young Children Reading Together

Keeping your child's brain active this summer

May 17, 2021

The school year is almost over and summer days promise family fun. Though rarely the first thought among planned summer activities, learning can make a great difference in a child’s future success.

In fact, when children take a break from reading and writing all summer, they miss a valuable opportunity to absorb new information and face losing up to three months of knowledge acquired during the previous school year, also called the “summer slide.”

There are numerous fun ways to engage children in learning throughout the summer:

Local library trips.  Find interesting books to check out or attend programs offered at libraries throughout the summer.

  • Reading on the road. Road trips can be fun if children have interesting books to read or audiobooks to listen to.
  • Writing stories. Let children author or illustrate their favorite activities as they make their own summer book.
  • Staying in touch. Let children use their imagination as they draw or write messages for their family members while learning to keep in touch.
  • Daily reading.  Follow daily reading schedules during the summer selecting topics that interest children.

If children struggled academically during the school year, the summer months are a great opportunity to close the achievement gap. Summer tutoring can be beneficial, yet it is important to find out what specific skill deficits to target.

A comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation given by a qualified provider is important in this endeavor and the summer months are ideal to find out children’s educational needs so they can receive the appropriate interventions during the summer and at the beginning of the new school year. Rather than waiting for the fall to help your child succeed, help them get a head start.

By encouraging them to learn during the summer, you are not only keeping their brains sharp, you are teaching them the lifelong appreciation of the value of time. Ultimately, the cumulative effects of summer learning may make a difference for college access and completion later on.