Seven Tips to Prevent the "Summer Reading Slide"

Practical tips to help children practice their reading skills during summer break from the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) and Parents for Charter Schools

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (June 3, 2020) –   When children don’t practice their reading skills during summer break, they can start the new school year already behind. 

"Studies show that school-age children can lose three months or more of reading skills in just one summer," said Robert Haag, President of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools.  "It can take them until December to catch up to where they were at the end of the previous school year."

The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) and its partner organization, Parents for Charter Schools, released seven practical tips to help kids and parents prevent the summer reading slide.  The seven tips are:

Choose the right books.  Providing children with books that match their interests and skill levels is an important first step in encouraging independent reading.  If your child’s book is too easy, he or she will get bored.  If the book is too hard, your child will get frustrated and give up.  When your child reads a book that is at the right reading level, he or she will be challenged, but engaged.  Ask your child’s teacher for recommendations.

Set goals.  Set reading goals together.  Studies suggest that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills achieved during the preceding school year.  Keep goals realistic and set up a reward system.  For example, if your child finishes three books, treat him or her to an ice cream cone.

Make it fun.  Your child will want to read if you sneak books into all the fun activities you do.  Heading to the beach?  Pack some books with you.  Try going on a “reading picnic” in the park.  Play games or puzzles together that will require your child to read words.  Sing songs or nursery rhymes with younger children.

Visit the library.  Public libraries often have great summer programs for kids, and they are usually inexpensive or free.  While you’re there, encourage your child to pick out some new books; he or she will be much more excited to read when choosing the book.  Be sure to call ahead to find out about restrictions libraries may have due to COVID-19.

Start a book club.  Set up a book exchange in your neighborhood or start a book club with families in your child’s class.  Your child’s school may allow you to check out books over the summer.   Be sure to ask.

Read every day.  Allot 15 to 20 minutes for primary grade students, 30 to 45 minutes for older students.  Practice makes perfect, and reading is no exception.  Show your kids that reading is a priority and they will treat it that way, too.  In the meantime, enjoy snuggling up with your child and sharing a book.

Read aloud.  Children of all ages love to read aloud.  It builds fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Membership in Parents for Charter Schools is free.  Parents who sign up at will receive a weekly email newsletter with information and tips to help children get the most from their charter school education.

About the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools

The Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS) is the leading charter school membership association in the state, with a membership of nearly 75 percent of all operating charter schools.  Since its inception in 1999, FCPCS has been dedicated to creating a national model of high quality, accredited public charter schools that are student-centered and performance-driven.  FCPCS provides a wide array of technical support, mentoring, training, networking and purchasing services to its membership, as well as serving as an advocate for all Florida public charter schools.