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You're the Book That I Want! Why Summer Reading Is Essential:

What is the Summer Slide?

The 'Summer Slide', based off research in New Zealand, shows that during the summer holidays children can lose 3-6 months of reading progress. Because of this, when children move into the next year the first few weeks (up to a whole term) is spent catching them up to the reading level they were at before the holidays, which is especially detrimental to readers who struggle and often creates a large gap between students of different socio-economic classes.

Those who lack motivation, confidence and who come from lower socio-economic classes suffer the most as they tend to not have reading materials readily available, lack high-interest material, lack reading role models and are less likely to go on educational outings such as trips to museums, which means this gap between them and students of higher socio-economic class gets wider the longer it goes unaddressed. This stretches into secondary school and beyond where research during the summer becomes extremely necessary for success, so closing this gap earlier on is imperative.

This summer slide also affects writing and maths, so light revision of literacy and maths over the summer would be beneficial. At ELC our Summer Booster Club is perfectly designed to help with Summer Slide prevention, but ideally, kids should be doing a little reading and learning every day - so what can you do at home?

Preventing the Summer Slide

Reading at home is always encouraged but of course, not everyone has the same access to reading resources - public libraries often do holiday deals, ebooks tend to be a lot cheaper than physical copies (the kindle app is free on laptops, iPads and phones so you don't have to own a kindle to benefit) and there are deals on amazon when it comes to children's ebooks so books that would usually cost £6-7 only cost £1. Audiobooks can be a great passive learning experience on car journeys, and engaging conversations can also contribute to boosting your child's vocabulary. You might even find the occasional audiobook or free-reading on YouTube!

Aside from the traditional reading experience, you can partake in other activities such as visiting museums (Eureka, Magma, Eden Project, York Dungeon, Thackray Medical Museum and the National Space Centre are fantastic examples of museums great for family days out), stately homes, art museums, monuments, woodland walks (many woods have pathways with interesting infographics along the way that your child can read to learn about the wildlife in that area), zoos and farms.

At home you can encourage reading and learning by partaking in new hobbies such as learning a new language, making new recipes (and having your child read out the directions and measure ingredients), or making a competitive game using multiplication/ addition or memory games such as The Name Game, 20 Questions, Grow a Story, Red-Car Yellow-Car and I Spy. You can sneak in some maths by asking your child the time, or having them count your loose change after a shopping trip (if offered the change in exchange for counting it kids suddenly become extremely motivated!) - even making crafts will help with this as it gets your child familiar with different shapes and gets them using their ruler.

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