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The #1 Summer Reading Challenge for Reluctant Readers

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My summer reading challenge to you!

Summer is finally here and if you’re anything like me, you don’t want your students (or your own kiddos) to fall victim of the “summer slide”.

You know the scenario… you have a kid, let’s call him Johnny. Well, little ‘ol Johnny at the end of the school year was doing what good readers do. He used his strategies, he read his text fluently, and he could answer any question you threw at him after reading.

He ends the school year on level, however; in between the trips to the pool and vacations to grandma’s house during his summer break, he gets caught up within the hustle and bustle and forgets to pick up a book. June flies by, followed by July and then August. By the time his teacher begins his new reading level testing, Johnny has gone 3 months without reading a book.

As a teacher, I see this year after year. Johnny has just joined thousands of other students who don’t continuously read throughout summer vacation and slips below grade level. All students, no matter how gifted they are, WILL experience some type of drop academically if they aren’t participating in some type of educational activities throughout their summer break.

Statistically, it takes teachers 4-6 weeks to reteach skills that were lost during summer. One way to combat the “summer slide” is to ensure that your children are reading at least 20 minutes every day. Studies show that students who read at least 20 minutes each day out perform non readers drastically. On Standardized tests, a student who reads 20 minutes a day are likely to score better than 90% of their peers while someone who reads just 1 minute a day is likely to only score better than 10% of their peers. Check out the chart below for the importance of reading daily.

Source: https://www.wcpo.com/brand-spotlight/how-reading-20-minutes-a-day-impacts-your-child-amazon-kindle

Have a reluctant reader?

I have found that these “Mark My Time” bookmarks can be a great motivator for reading time. Not ALL kids will NEED these to help them keep their nose in a book but some children just need a little bit more structure and incentive. 🙂 Plus, they come in tons of cute colors and are a fairly cheap timer/bookmark combo! That’s a win-win to me. I actually purchase these as End of Year gifts for my students before sending them off each summer. Fingers crossed that this coupled with my “Summer Reading Bucket List” will help these kiddos continue to build their stamina while they’re away!

Now, you may be asking what my bucket list is?

Each year I send home a “Summer Reading Bucket List” with my students. It has calendars (reading log) for them to record their daily reading and it also includes a fun Bingo game that helps make learning a little bit more fun! I always tell the kiddos it’s a “reading challenge” and brag how GREAT things happen when they complete it. During the beginning of the following school year, if they bring their Bucket List back finished, they get to take a trip to my treasure box to pick out any goodie they wish! Kids eat this stuff up! You can get your copy HERE.

What are ways to prevent the Summer Slide?

1. Complete the Summer Reading Bucket List and instill the importance of reading 20 minutes each day into your students!!!
2. Take your children to the library and find a book that they are highly interested in!
3. Set a good example. If your kids see you reading, they will follow suit!
4. Read TO your kids. This allows them to hear proper intonation and fluency within their text PLUS it builds upon their vocabulary!
5. Read WITH your child! Explore different types of genres such as nonfiction, fiction, traditional literature, poetry! Shoot.. read magazines, recipes, game instructions, and even the mail! Readers read everything!
6. Have access to an iPad or any type of tablet? There are tons of resources via apps or websites that they can read on. One of my favorites is “Epic”!
7. Play a game full of words like Apples to Apples! They won’t even realize they’re learning! 😉

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