Last week, I asked if you were concerned about your child losing some of the knowledge he had acquired over the school year?
According to the National Summer Learning Association , children lose an average of 2 months of knowledge during the summer vacation. If you multiply that by 6 years of Elementary School, that equates to at least 12 months of learning loss. Before we get too fixated on the numbers, however, it should be noted that the majority of the studies supporting this idea were conducted on low income families or on families who had less access to reading materials. In fact, the research shows that children in middle income families actually make slight GAINS over the summer. (#thingsObamadoesn'twantyoutoknow :)
What the difference? I think one difference could be access and exposure to books and "life experiences". This study showed that by simply providing books to low income students, students retained as much knowledge as if they had gone to summer school.
One of the best ways to prevent the summer slide is to provide your child with experiences that relate to a book. I've been reading, Mosaic of Thinking by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman. As I'm reading, I've learned that proficient readers are metacognitive. They think about what they are reading while they are reading. One of the things that all proficient readers do is to make connections from text to life.
Summer is the ideal time to let your child have life experiences that they can not get in the classroom. Reading is Fundamental provides many great ideas for incorporating books into your summer break here. Unfortunately, this list targets school age children and my blog focuses on birth-early childhood. So, I kind of took the idea presented and ran with it for the preschool/early reader crowd.
I'm gonna make this easy for you, folks. I've compiled a list of "book adventures"for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and early readers. Books for the zoo. Books for the park. Books for the pool. Click on the "Book Adventures" page at the top of my blog! This is just a start... I'll try to post more as they come to me : )
Why not take a book on every adventure this summer. Where will your next book take you?