Many researchers agree that during the summer months, children experience a “Summer Slide” or a decline in their reading abilities. The reason for their weakening literacy skills is primarily because children who do not read during these months start to decline in this area.
A good example of this is like learning how to play the piano. You have been practicing the piano every day for ten months, then you take a break from the piano for two months. When you come back to the piano after the second month of having not touched it, your piano skills become very rusty, and it is difficult to get back to where you originally were prior to your two-month break. This analogy is quite like what the research has been showing about what happens to literacy skills and children during the summer months if they did not have exposure to reading or literacy. According to Readingrockets.org “Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect”.
So, what can we as early childhood educators do to prevent the “Summer Slide” in literacy? The most important thing you can do is to first inform your parents/ caregivers about the “Summer Slide” and the importance of reading to their children while away on vacation.
Parents/caregivers can read to their children before bedtime, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Have the children help make the grocery list and then have them read off the items once they get to the cashier to ensure they have everything. Another tip you can provide parents/caregivers is to incorporate games while reading to make it both fun and memorable. When adults show enthusiasm for reading, children will in turn begin to see the value in it.
H&H Child Care Training offers both online courses such as Understanding Print Knowledge in Preschool or instructor led courses such as Setting the State: Story Time to help teachers understand the importance of literacy and how to implement effective read alouds in their classroom. Click on childcareed.com to learn more and schedule your next class today!
H & H Child Care Training Courses grant .2 CEUs or more as well as awarding state approved clock hours of 2 or more for all childcare centers, and family childcare providers in many states. Check with your licensing agency to check for any additional requirements and to see if we are approved in your home state.