Students don’t have to experience an academic slump during vacation if parents heed a few helpful tips!
The National Education Association (NEA) encourages parents and students to keep books on the menu so, when class is back in session, students continue to make progress instead of having to spend time reviewing last year’s lessons.
“Just because school is out doesn’t mean students should take a break from reading,” said Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. “When students return to their classrooms in the fall, we want reading to top the list of what they did this summer.”
Fighting the reading loss—sometimes referred to as the “4thgrade reading slump” because of its crucial timing in a student’s academic career—proves to be a challenge for many students, especially for minority and low income students.
Research shows that the reading achievement of socioeconomically disadvantaged students typically declines an average of three months between June and September, while that of the typical middle-class student improves or remains the same. As a result, students can lose critical ground that continues to widen their achievement gaps.
- Get familiar with your library. Make frequent trips to the library and find out which reading programs it offers.
- Find out what they like to read. Let your children’s interests lead the choice of books to create reading lists that include their specific likes and dislikes.
- Read the book. If your children enjoyed a movie, encourage them to read the book or original fairy tale upon which the movie is based.
- Set a good example. Students whose parents are avid readers are more likely to follow their parents’ example or lead.
- Make reading a part of the daily summer routine. Even though activities and bedtimes can change during the summer, keep books a constant.
“Parents can help teachers by continuing classroom lessons during the summer months when students are not in school,” said Van Roekel. “You never know, the best vacation may be just a page away.”
For more information, visit www.nea.org/readacross
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
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