School may be out for summer, but that doesn't mean kids should stop learning. Summer reading loss—also known as the "summer slump"—has been extensively documented. According to the New York Times, the average American student loses a full month's worth of learning in reading each summer; some research points to a loss of an aggregate two to three years of reading level loss due to summer regression by the time children are in the fifth grade.
One of the best ways to prevent the summer slump is to keep children reading all summer long. Studies show that children who read regularly during the summer retain at least 30%–67% more reading ability based on reading level than children who do not continue a regular reading routine (Psst! Did you know we offer free downloadable learning activities and resources to engage children in the books they read on Vooks? They're the perfect way to continue the learning and the fun beyond the screen!).
Studies show that when age-appropriate books are available at home, within view, and accessible, children are more likely to choose reading as an activity. All children are at risk of backsliding, but when it comes to literacy the gap between high and low socioeconomic status children widens. Low-income students, who may not have the same level of access to books and literacy resources, tend to decline more than wealthier peers. Our ever-growing Vooks library provides access to hundreds of books covering a wide range of topics sure to meet the interests of all young readers.
Another strategy to help mitigate summer reading loss is to regularly read aloud to kids. Reading aloud has been proven to expand vocabulary, increase focus and attention to detail, and open discussion (that's why Vooks uses read-aloud, read-along narration and highlighted text that can be read independently by children). You can even ask your child to read aloud—to you, to a sibling, or even to a family pet!
Here are 7 more ways to prevent the summer slump and set kids up for success in the fall:
Create a daily reading routine. Set a specific time each day for reading, such as before bed, as a quiet time activity, or any time that works best for your schedule.
Let your children see you reading. Make sure kids have access to all kinds of reading materials and then model the behavior you hope to see in them.
Create a special reading area. Whether it's a cozy nook or a quiet corner, ensure there is somewhere comfy and inviting for your little learners to curl up with a good book.
Engage in book discussions. Reading doesn't have to be a solitary activity. Ask questions and show a genuine interest in what kids are reading.
Bring books wherever you go. Keep books handy when you're out and about—have a stash in the car or stroller, throw a few in a tote bag, or stow them in a diaper bag.
Frequent your local library. The library exposes kids to a variety of books they don't have at home—plus, local libraries tend to offer lots of fun reading programs and activities to keep kids engaged.
Don't forget about writing. Reading and writing go hand in hand, so have plenty of writing materials available so kids can practice the alphabet, write letters to loved ones, or draw what they've read.