Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Can we Curb the Summer Slump or Summer Slide?

As a teacher I am well aware that students lose some of their academic knowledge over the summer. It is one of our biggest challenges as teachers and something we are constantly talking about amongst ourselves. Yesterday I heard an interesting program on NPR which discussed the reading programs at our local libraries and their efforts to curb the "summer slump" or "summer slide." One of the researchers on the show discussed how students from middle income and low income families lose about the same amount over the summer in math, however there is a huge gap in the reading loss. Students from middle income families lose about one month but students from low income families lose about 3 months. Not only is this a big difference, the lose is cumulative over each year and can mean the difference between a student dropping out of high school or going to college. 

Here is a link to an interesting article on this topic: 

There are several ways that the summer slide is being tackled. Summer School, Summer Reading Programs offered by local libraries etc. All of these programs will only help those students who attend, however. That is the real challenge - educating not only the students but also the parents on the importance of reading to and with their children. Scholastic suggests three easy ways to help your child keep up with his/her reading over the summer:

Our local libraries are pairing up with some of the summer school programs in the area to bring books to children who may not otherwise be able to check out books from the library. They also offer exciting programs at their locations, such as magic shows, bringing in animals etc. to get children excited about all the different topics you can read about. 

What kind of programs are in your local area? What are your thoughts on the issue of the "summer slump/summer slide?" I look forward to reading your comments!

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