Help your kids with learning and reading retention during summer



As the school year winds down, teachers begin sending home information on summer reading lists and programs. As a child, I remember my teacher giving me a list of things to do over the summer. One event that I recall is receiving a summer reading list. My friends and I debated over which book to read first.

It has been well documented that preventing summer learning loss is important to classroom success in the fall, but it does take some diligence and planning. Like summer learning loss prevention, summer school has many benefits. Below is a list of benefits that your child can gain from going to summer school.


Improves grades

Perhaps the most obvious purpose of a summer school is to give your child a better chance of doing better in the fall. If your child is, for example, unable to learn division because he is having trouble with multiplication, then a few weeks of intensive math tutoring may give him the leg up he needs to be ready to face next year’s math class with ease.


Provides opportunity to brush up on a subject

Summer schools are a great way of getting up to speed on a subject you’re not confident about but that you need to do well in. If, for example, your child struggles with math, but a good grade in math is essential for graduation, a summer school would help them to reach the required level of competency.


Makes the next school year a bit easier

If your child is new to the subjects lined up for the next academic year, joining a summer school and studying these subjects prior to the new school year is a great way of exposing them to these new subjects.


Smaller class size

If your child needs extra attention in the classroom, then a small group summer school program could be very helpful towards boosting skill mastery and confidence in themselves.

What else can parents do? Here are a few tips for preventing summer learning loss, in particular, summer reading loss. Kimberly Tyson, a literacy consultant, offers the following tips to parents:


Enroll your child in a summer reading program

Many libraries support reading by offering a summer reading program for students of all ages. Sometimes there are incentives to keep them reading all summer long. Register your child — it’s free.


Visit your local library — often

Your local library can often serve as the best resource to keep your child reading over the summer. If you don’t have a library card, they’re easy to get — just provide proof that you live in the town or city where it’s located.

Have your child sign up for a library card, too. And, don’t be shy about asking for help. A librarian will help guide you and your child to find just the right books to fill his/her backpack and keep him/her reading.


Have your child record their books

Using a tracker sheet can be helpful for them to record the books they have read. The tracker sheet can provide topics for constructive conversation. For example, perhaps you notice that your children primarily chooses fiction selections. Talk about this, and the next time you visit the library encourage them to take a look at several nonfiction books.


Check out whether your school has library hours over the summer

More and more schools are supporting summer reading by keeping their libraries open throughout the summer. Though the hours are reduced, this still provides an opportunity to stay connected to school and to keep your child reading.

If your child’s school library is not available, check out the local public library as a source of all kinds of reading material that you and your kids will enjoy.


Tammy McIntyre, M.Ed. is a workforce development consultant providing individuals and small businesses with career development services. She welcomes reader responses to