Blog Post
Tips on Combating Summer Reading Loss

Summer break is just beginning for most students, and while it is a fun time of rest from school, good weather, and new opportunities, it can also eat away at the important skills gained over the school year. Without deliberate efforts to keep up reading over break, students of all ages can experience reading loss, which is the decline in reading development over periods without formal literacy instruction. According to Horizon Education Centers, some students may lose up to 20% of the gains made in reading over the summer. 

Without practice of reading and decoding skills over the summer, it becomes harder to catch up when students return to school, and the reading gap can widen even further. Luckily, reading over the summer doesn’t have to be a chore. These tips can help set students up for success for the next school year without compromising their fun over the summers. 

For educators:

If you are assigning mandatory summer reading, consider adding some supplemental reading that is more casual and “fun” for your students. This could be a book that builds off something from your curriculum, or more recreational reading that you enjoy and want to share with others. Give students the chance to explore their own academic interests or hobbies by electing books themselves and taking their learning into their own hands.

For parents: 

Try to make your student’s home a place that fosters and celebrates reading. Set an example and encourage your children to read by setting your own summer reading goals. Read both alongside your child to foster their own independent learning, but also read to your child (yes, even older children!) and ask questions to help practice comprehension skills. You can also consider setting up a reading nook to make reading a comfortable and special experience.  

For students:

Join or make your own summer reading group. Having friends help hold you accountable about your summer reading can be essential. Set a goal with your friend, sibling, or parent about how much you want to read, and ask them to support you in staying on-track. You could read the same books together and form a book club to talk about them, or read different ones and then “present” the book to your book-buddy. 

Find a book balance between topics you know you love and new ones you are curious about. If you are a big romance fan, why not push yourself to try one mystery novel? Different genres of books can pull on different reading skills, and stimulate your brain more. You could plan this by making a list of books you want to read over the summer and setting a goal to make some amount of them a new genre or more challenging book that you want to push yourself with. Check out the Storyshares eLibrary and filter by genre and level to choose a book that is both interesting and accessible to you.

Summer is the perfect time to prioritize “fun” reading. Even non-academic books still teach you necessary skills in phonics, decoding, and comprehension. Learning should always be fun, but especially in the summertime when the learning is more in your own hands, it is important to open yourself to a wide array of what learning can look like in order to keep your interests high. 

Storyshares is helping combat summer reading loss with a FREE subscription to our entire eLibrary. Sign up here for access to hundreds of interesting, relevant, diverse, and accessible high-low and decodable books!