Summer Reading- What Every Parent Needs to Know

What Every Parent of an Elementary Child Needs to Know


Did you know that your child may be a victim of summer reading loss?  Student can lose up to three months’ worth of reading progress over one summer.  And, if you take into consideration all summers combined, students could possibly lose 1.5 years’ worth of reading progress.  Summer reading loss can be defeated through time spent reading with your child, providing a variety of reading material, using various Internet resources, and encouraging your child to just read for fun and the pleasure of learning!


You can protect your child against summer reading loss by:

  • Reading to your child daily

  • Reading a lot of different materials

  • Discussing what you’ve read together

  • Asking your child questions about what was read

  • Encouraging your child to write or draw in response to what they’ve read


Every Questions Counts!

Part of continued literacy progress is learning how to think as you read.  Asking questions supports learning how to think.  Examples of some questions you might ask your child before, during, or after reading might be:

  • What did you learn?

  • What was it all about?

  • What do you think will happen next?

  • Does this make you wonder about anything?

  • What was your favorite part of the story?

  • How did the characters change over time?

  • What was the problem in the story?

  • What was the solution?


Every Word Counts!

Part of continual reading progress is learning new words.  You can help your students learn new words by:

  • Stopping every once in a while and taking a few moments to talk about the meaning of a word

  • For example, you and your child read the word “avoid” in a story, and you comment, “This is an important word.  You will see this often, so it’s important to know what it means.  It means to stay away from something.  For example, Goldilocks will avoid the three bears’ house from now on.”

  • Afterwards, frequently using the word you read and talked about helps your child to remember a new word.  It might sound like this, “Scotty, avoid leaving the front door open.”  And then again, later:  “Scotty, what are some ways that you can avoid making your little brother angry?”

“Students say the number one reason why they do not read more is because they cannot find books they like to read” (Kids and Family Reading Report, June 2006, Scholastic/Yankelovich)


There are an array of reading materials and activities that can assist parents with keeping your children motivated to read during the summer and prevent reading loss from occurring:

  • Summer Recommended Reading List  – provides a list of books by grades that students are sure to enjoy over the summer

  • Reading Tips for Parents

  • K-5 Summer Activities Calendar  – a month’s worth of daily activities for your child to do this summer

  • Summer Reading Activities Kit  – creative ideas for fun summer reading parents and children can do together while on vacation, at home, or on the road

  • Kid-friendly websites for ages 2 and up – that develop reading skills through word games, story times, etc.


Other Resources:

  • Reading Rockets offers a wealth of reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better.  The reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educations in helping students build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

  • Reading is Fundamental sets out to motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life.  Reading is Fundamental’s highest priority is reaching children from birth to age eight:

  • SummerReads offers free texts aimed at “getting students ready” for a particular grade level in the fall (3rd, 4th, and 5th)


Make Summer Reading Fun!

Summer reading is different from reading during the school year.  It should be less structured and much more informal.  Summer reading should emphasize:

  • Student interest to keep students motivated to read

  • Wide-reading to help students learn the meanings of new words

Scheduling time for reading on a daily basis throughout the summer helps support your child’s reading development.  Make reading a priority this summer for yourself and your children.


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