Summer slideYou’ve heard it from your child’s teacher probably a hundred times: “Don’t forget to read over the summer!” and in your head, you go “Yeah, yeah, we’ll get right on that,” right? 

We’ve all been there, I know, but here’s the real scoop…

The lower the grade, the greater the risk your kid has of their reading regressing. In first grade, I’ve seen a child fall back as many as 6 reading levels. SIX! Teachers dread beginning of the year reading assessments. It’s so disheartening to see kids move back levels after we worked so hard to get them where they end the year. 

 We need your help! 

I always give compliments and sincere appreciation to parents who help their children maintain and even grow their reading over the summer. We can tell!

Whether you call it the Summer Slide, the Brain Drain, or any other silly name, it’s all the same. We have 72 calendar days before the 2019-20 school year starts (50 weekdays). All it takes is 20 minutes per day. Skipping the weekends, this amounts to 1,000 minutes this summer! Students who read 20 minutes a day are more likely to score in the 90th percentile! Students who read for 5 minutes or less score in the 50th. 

Visit the library. Read to them. Have meaningful conversations. Practice writing skills. All of these things contribute to your child’s wellbeing! It doesn’t have to be as boring as making them sit down with a book. Make it fun!

I’ve done some investigating to help find the best ways to help your child this summer that your teacher will THANK you for!

  1. Sign up for a library card at your local Beaufort County Library! All libraries are participating in a ‘Summer @ Your Library’ challenge running from June 1-July 31. Pick up your game mat and start earning prizes! Score gift cards, performance tickets, dance lessons, and sign books and merchandise!
  1. Barnes & Noble is hosting the #BookYourSummer program. Head over to their site, download the Summer Reading Journal in English (or Spanish), chose any 8 books, read at your leisure, and write a quick blurb about your favorite part! Easy as that! Bring your completed journal into any B&N store between August 1-31 to choose your free book!
  1. Just type in “Summer Reading” into the search bar of Pinterest for a huge list of challenges, games, and ideas to help keep your kids engaged! Daily challenges, bingo, scavenger hunts are all things that can make summer reading fun for you and your kid!
  1. Scholastic is also hosting a digital Read-A-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge! Students will enter their summer reading minutes online to unlock digital rewards as they complete weekly reading challenges. They are even promoting Kids Helping Kids! When the total minutes read reaches 25, then 50, and then 100 million minutes (collectively), Scholastic will donate a minimum of 200,000 books to kids in need across the US! They have a book list, reading pledge, minute tracker, and certificate of achievement being offered on their site!
  1. Scholastic also has some other summer printables offered on their site here! Check them out! While most of these activities can be done independently, I really implore you to participate with your child! Showing your child they can have a healthy relationship with reading is so important! I often find that my reluctant readers are the ones who don’t have any support at home! If you know a child who may be in a situation like this, I urge you to help them! No child deserves to hate reading. It’s such a magical thing!


Elle Asheworth is a Beaufort County teacher and USCB graduate. She has been in the Lowcountry for 7 years.