Summer recess is a time filled with fun and relaxation for many children and families. The break can, however, have detrimental effects on a child’s academic performance when they head back to school in the Fall. During the summer months children can lose anywhere from a few months to a full year of reading proficiency; a phenomenon known as the “summer slide.”
A study conducted at the University of Rochester by Dr. Erin Kelly and her colleagues, supported findings from previous research that providing children with book choices makes a world of difference. Dr. Kelly’s study found that children who were allowed to chose their summer reading material maintained or improved their reading proficiency during the summer months. The simple act of allowing children to pick out their books made a significant difference in their academic achievement compared to their peers who were not allowed to choose their books!
Dr. Kelly’s study continues to positively impact children in grades K-2 in the Rochester City School District. At the end of the school year they were sent home with a package of books, including some of their choosing.
Taking the time to engage your children in reading the books they are interested in (even if those books are not literary masterpieces) will help reinforce all of the hard work they put in during the previous school year and ensure that they are not behind when they return to class in the Fall.