Homeschool, Summer Slide

Summer Slide Can Be Prevented: Reading is the key!

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Have you ever heard of the Summer Slide? No, it isn’t the latest line dance, it is the amount of academic learning loss a kid has during Summer months. Listen, the Summer Slide is very real can be detrimental to your child’s academic success. Most kids lose 2 to 3 months of what they have learned over the school year. Can you imagine how that impacts a child who already may be struggling in school? Or a child from a school with a poor academic foundation? The Summer Slide loss during the elementary years, accounts for at least half of the 9th grade reading gap. Just think, Summer Slide can put a child at risk for long-term academic failure.

So, what is the solution?

Reading is a great solution to beat the Summer Slide and get your kids to explore a whole new world!

Summer Slide Reading Challenge Begins!

With 5 school age kids, it is amazing to see the many differences in their academic skills. Each one of them has a natural ability and knack for different things. In our house only two of our children really enjoy reading for pleasure. The other three, well, let’s say it is like pulling teeth to get them to pick up a book. This is where Summer Reading Challenges come in handy. My kids are super competitive with one another. Having a Summer Reading Challenge, gives me just enough leverage to get them in the books. Little do they realize, I have secretly won the battle of getting them to read for pleasure (shh… don’t let them in on to my secret!). So here are a few tips to get started:

Choose Your Challenge

At the beginning of the Summer, I have each kid pick out the challenge they want to participate in. There are so many to choose from, as you can see in the list below. By giving them the choice, they are more likely to complete the challenge. Since each reading challenge program may have different requirements, we level the playing field by saying everyone must read at least 20 minutes a day for 4 days in a week. My husband and I also join in the challenge to make it even more fun. This creates our own family challenge, as well as the one they are participating in. It also sweetens the pot because we throw in an extra reward of a $25 Amazon gift card as the prize!

Get Organized

Don’t worry! This task is not as hard as you think. Each Summer Reading Challenge usually comes with its own calendar or reading log. Getting Organized is as simple as printing off any required reading log on calendar and deciding where and how to story it. In our house, our school room wall is our central location. We hang the calendar or reading log and go over with each kid how to document their reading.

Be Intentional

Our family loves the lazy days of summer! We spend a lot of time swimming, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the outdoors. Outside of my two “natural readers” my children will not pick up a book without being prompted. Now, this might not be your families dynamics, but for our family, it is. This is why we must Be Intentional about finding time to read each day. In our house, we created quiet time from 11 am to 12 pm. Our littlest guy takes a nap during this time each day and we decided that it was the perfect time to required the kids to find a quiet activity. This also is the perfect time for kids to get their 20 minutes of reading in each day. Come together as a family and decide how you will Be Intentional about implementing a Summer Reading Challenge.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Everyone likes to be rewarded! Any Summer Reading Challenge that you register for online, comes with its own incentives and rewards. Make sure your kiddo is interested in the reward BEFORE starting the challenge. If the challenge does not offer incentives for milestones, you might want to consider incorporating them. Prizes, such as, a $1.00 ice cream cone, a trip to the dollar store, or even getting to choose the families dinner one night, are all great ways to keep your child motivated and reading during their challenge. Your family may also decide to add end of the Summer prizes for completing their challenge, like a trip to the movies, gift cards, or even the option of purchasing more books. These are all great ways to Celebrate Your Accomplishments for reading.

Whichever program your family decides to use or if you decide to create your own, you are helping your child stimulate their minds during the summer. Beating the Summer Slide doesn’t have to feel like school. Find what works for your family and incorporate a bit of fun and excitement. Make the Summer Reading Challenge something your kids look forward to from year to year!

5 FREE SUMMER READING CHALLENGES

This year’s theme is, “A Magical Summer of Reading.” Parents and their children work together to determine the total number of minutes they will read over the summer. Free resources, suggested book list, videos and more are all available to participants and their families. In addition, each child will be able to receive a Certificate of Achievement!

This fun Summer reading program challenges kids to tune in and listen to or read the daily Keys for Kids devotional and write down the key phrase each day on their calendar. Kids send in or upload their calendar and receive a surprise at the end of the 3 months. This reading challenges encourages kids to get into the habit of daily devotions and daily bible reading!

What better way to earn a FREE book than to read a book? Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program challenges kids to read 8 books and log them on their journal. Once completed, kids and teens take their completed log to a local store and select a book off of a designated list. This challenge would be great to do while completing another challenge.

Do your kids love money? Well, mine definitely love to get FREE money! Kids can earn $10 in a new or existing TD Simple Savings account. Signing up for this reading challenge is simple. Download their printable reading log and write down 10 books that your child has read this summer, then visit your nearest TD Bank. This program encourages kids to read and teaches them to learn to save money. Win! Win!

This phenomenal reading program is sponsored by Achieve Success Tutoring. This program allows kids to choose their books and encourages kids and families to get involved. The #Overachiever Summer Reading Program is offering a ton of great prizes and giveaways!

  • Visit Your Local Library

Library systems across the nation have created some pretty amazing summer reading challenges. I have seen prizes and incentives range from Kindle’s to tickets to sporting events. Connecting with your local library is a great way to complete all of the summer reading challenges because it keeps the cost for books free. Another great thing about connecting with your library is the tons of great programs and activities offered during the summer months. You will find everything from puppet shows to magicians!

No matter which program you choose or if your family decides to start their own Summer Reading Challenge, you are helping to decrease the Summer Slide and helping your children develop a love for reading. Reading is the key to

Chime In! What do you do to encourage Summer reading? Do you have any favorite programs we should add to the list?

Looking for other ways to prevent the Summer Slide?

Check out these two online courses for kids, Adventure Seekers and Summer Writing Workshop for Tweens!

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