Tips for avoiding the summer slide

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Palliser Regional Schools' Literacy Specialist Orishia Asher regularly posts information on a Literacy blog. Her latest post is a message to parents/guardians, offering five simple tips to keep children reading over the summer.


Summer slide is the loss of academic achievement children made during the school year. Research proves that when children do not read over the summer months, they lose reading performance and fall victim to summer slide.

Fortunately, learning never has to stop. The best way for children to improve their learning is by reading. Children who read throughout the summer gain skills and develop a better understanding of language and the world around them. Please encourage your child to experience the joy of reading during the summer break.

Reading is the doorway to all other learning!

Scholastic Education suggests the following five ways to help your child avoid summer slide.

  1. Make reading important: Be a role model for reading. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, reading TV listings, looking for information on-line, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences.
  2. Give your child the power of choice: Having reading materials available is key to helping kids love to read, and the reading materials kids choose themselves are best. In fact, 92% of children and teens say they are more motivated to read and are more likely to finish a book they have picked out. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age appropriate and "just right" in difficulty.
  3. Set aside time to read every day: We know that the more kids read, the better they become at reading and the more they will enjoy reading. During the summer, encourage your child to read for at least 20 minutes per day. Make reading ‘down-time’—an opportunity for family members to read together, either aloud or quietly to themselves. Keep track of progress by recording book titles, pages read, and minutes spent.
  4. Talk it up: Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage kids to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Talk about what you read to let them know that reading is an important part of your life. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same.
  5. Be part of a reading challenge: Most local libraries have summer reading programs that help engage and motivate readers. Kids set a goal and track books they read. Summer programs also promote reading club opportunities. where children can discuss and share books with others, either on-line or inperson. You can even create your own family reading challenge.

Additional Resources

Calgary Reads Family Information

Choosing the Right Books\\

Summer Reading Apps

Summer Reading Tips

Bookflix, Scienceflix, and Trueflix (book libraries)

Username: LA44

Password: 8966

I hope you have a wonderful summer and happy reading!


Please visit our Literacy page for more information and resources.