Most educators agree children who do not regularly read during the summer experience a regression of skills and knowledge.
University of South Carolina education professor Beth White told South Carolina Radio Network that parents can prevent the summer slide in their school-aged children with material their kids enjoy.
“I always recommend to parents find out authors or get children introduced to authors,” she said. “And often this happens in school or public libraries where they are introduced to authors they like.”
She said letting a child choose what to read will keep them interested and engaged. “But as readers, especially in the upper elementary or even starting middle school, they know the characters they’re familiar with them they can make inferences and predictions based on the traits of the characters,” White said.
She said children not being engaged and ready over the summer break can have a long-term effect. “If you start adding that and do the math and adding it summer after summer cumulatively, that’s where the problems begin to arise.”
White said teachers often spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer, which delays the instruction of new information and skills at the start of a new school year.