OUR VIEW: Read to your child to avoid dreaded summer slide

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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We’re right in the middle of summer break from school, meaning in about another month students will be back in the classroom again.

The Troup County School System, in particular, had an aggressive summer school program this year to help students who fell behind during the complicated 2020, COVID-19 impacted school year. But even that is over now.

So now, the onus is on parents to ensure their students hang on to all of the knowledge they learned during the school year. In education, the dreaded summer slide is one of the biggest issues educators face.

When teachers have students in the classroom, they feel like they can have a chance to help every child get up to speed. But during the summer, if students don’t pick up a book for nearly three months, it’s easy for a lot of the knowledge learned to be lost.

Experts always recommend reading to your children every day, but it’s possibly even more important during the summer, especially for struggling readers.

According to Scholastic.com, a recent study of children in the third to fifth grades showed that students, on average, lost about 20 percent of their school year gains in reading and 27 percent in math over summer break.

That’s terrifying, especially when you consider the number of children in our community who are behind in both of those categories. It only takes a couple of minutes each day to pick up a book and read to your children. If you read a book a bit above your child’s reading level out loud, they might pick up some new words. Or, let your child read a book to you. Avoid the summer slide, by breaking out a good book, visiting the library or a bookstore.