Guest Post: Preventing the Summer Slide

Today, you are all in for a treat!  We have a guest poster :)  Kathie has so graciously agreed to talk about preventing the dreaded "summer slide".   (and make sure you check out my guest post on For the Love of Teaching Math!), parent ideas, teacher
Hi Everyone! My name is Kathie, some of you may know me as the Not So Wimpy Teacher, from The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher. I am really excited to be guest blogging on Stephanie’s blog today! As summer picks up speed and we zoom into July, I hope to share with you some great information that you can use with your children and/or students to help prevent the “summer slide”. 

Many of you are probably already aware of the term “summer slide” or “summer slip” …(summer slip and slide 0_o)…. The “summer slide” is no theme park adventure. In fact, it’s no fun at all once school starts. It is the term many researchers and educators use to describe the regression of skills many students may experience during the summer months. “Summer slide” affects millions of children each year. Teachers anticipate it….even the students anticipate it. They assume the initial back to school review  (that can last as long as a month to a month and a half) is just part of the school curriculum. However, it is only necessary because most students forget important skills over the summer. It is actually a hindrance. Imagine what additional skills can be learned in the time teachers spend reteaching and reviewing….

The “summer slide” occurs when students sit idle for 2-3 months. In comparison to the regular school year, a student’s daily academic rigor and routine may significantly slow down. Daily lessons are replaced with summer camp, day trips, and sometimes lots of lounging! These are all important things and the value of summer camp and/or a relaxed summer schedule isn’t being challenged. But, in addition to all of these fun and exciting activities should be a daily routine for reading and/or “mind stretches”. Experts share that students who read during the summer gain reading skills. Those who do not read, consistently slide backward. According to Scholastic, research shows that struggling readers who read at least 6 books will have a better chance of not regressing over the summer months.

So how can you keep your child/students reading during the summer months? Here a some tips:
  •  Make sure your child has an active library card. During the school year some students may lose their card. In addition, they may accrue fees due to overdue or lost book fines. Make sure that your child has a “clean bill” and that their borrowing privileges are in tact. Make it a point to visit the library regularly. Some libraries offer summer reading programs for children to participate in. Your local library is a primary summer resource; be sure to take advantage of it!
  •  Build time into your child’s daily schedule for reading. Just like during the school year, it is important to keep your child on a reading schedule.
  •  Keep a book in a bag! Take advantage of “wait time” (i.e. dentist appointment, long lines, etc.). Also, long car rides, train rides and time on the beach are great opportunities to read.
  • Provide a variety of reading materials for your students/children to choose from.
  • Lead by example. When your child is reading, show them that it something that the family can enjoy. Pick up a book and read along with them, or, get engrossed in one of the books that have been sitting on your reading list.
  • Read to your child. This helps to model fluency, strengthens vocabulary, and helps to improve listening comprehension.

 I suggest having your child read and write regularly over the summer. By keeping a journal highlighting what they’ve read and/or their summer adventures, students continue to use important strategies for reading/writing. At the end of the school year I discussed with my students the different things they can do over the summer to keep themselves active.  They came up with ideas such as doing good deeds, staying fit, reading, and keeping a journal…. I compiled their ideas and created The Diary of  Not So Wimpy Summer journal.  My students were excited to get their copy during the last week of school. Feel free to download this journal and print out the pages you like! Let me know how it works for you on my FACEBOOK PAGE :).

Have a great summer, 

Kathie Wainwright is a dedicated 4th grade teacher with 13 years of experience in the Philadelphia area. Known for her strong classroom management skills and ability to reach all learners, Ms. Wainwright has earned the title "The Not So Wimpy Teacher"! She is the writer of the blog The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher where she shares a variety of teaching strategies and resources. She is also the author of her first published children's book Summer in the City (scheduled to be released August 2012). 


Thank you so much Kathie for your great post!  There are quite a few tips there for us all :) 

You can find my post, about fitting in math into your daily routine, here on For the Love of Teaching Math.

 And for more great posts, filled with information from all over the teaching blogosphere, hop around on our linky! 


  1. This would be a great post to share with my parents from last year!

    Apples and ABC's

  2. Great ideas to help with the dreaded summer slide! Especially the journal with tips from themselves!
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas! I always look forward to checking out what new ideas have been shared. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Stop on by my blog to pick up your award:


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