As a homeschool mom, I’m pretty sure I look forward to summer break as much as my kids. The problem with this is that I know from experience that if I stop teaching my kids with dyslexia for too long, they’re going to forget as much as 30% of what they’ve learned this year – also known as the summer slide.
So while I’m looking forward to some long, hot days at the beach or pool, hanging out with friends and family, and taking a break from the normal school routine, I know that I need to be intentional about having my kids read through the summer.
4 ways to avoid that summer slide in reading.
Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading
We have changed how we handle the summer break over the years depending on our level of progress, our level of burnout, and our family dynamic. Here are a few ideas for how to keep the learning going this summer:
Hire a tutor.
I wrote recently of how our 9 1/2-year-old isn’t making the kinds of progress we would like. He is likely on the profound side of dyslexia and so we committed to hiring an NILD educational therapist to work with him. Read more about our decision to hire a tutor for our profoundly dyslexic son here.
Continue with your usual program.
If hiring a tutor is not an option for you this summer, you can continue with your current research-based reading curriculum but cut back on how often you teach – say only 2-3 times per week. This is enough practice to keep your child from forgetting while easing up on the schedule.
Add in some games and apps.
Check out the extensive list of apps available for supplementing your reading instruction in this post – 100 Resources for Teaching Kids With Dyslexia. Our boys (ages 7 & 10) are both loving the Nessy Reading and Spelling online reading program. Read my review of Nessy and a special discount for Homeschooling With Dyslexia readers here.
Use a new program for the summer.
One way to sidestep burnout is to switch programs for the summer. Sometimes this small change can give our kids that boost in motivation they need as they try something new. My recommendation for an excellent, online, complete, Orton-Gillingham-based program is Reading Horizons. You can read my complete review of Reading Horizons Elevate here.
Cultivate helpful reading habits.
Lastly, whatever way to choose to work on reading this summer, be sure to cultivate a few helpful reading habits:
- Make quiet reading time mandatory each day. No matter if they’re just looking at books and not really reading them or reading the most basic of books, make a habit of reading time each day.
- Library trips. Libraries often have summer reading programs. Have your kids keep a list of the books they have read or had read to them. If necessary, create your own reward system to make the rewards a bit more meaningful.
- Read alouds. Make a list of books that you want to read with your kids just for fun.
- Audio books. Get your kids hooked on reading by finding good audio books for them to listen to this summer.