Benefits of Summer Reading Programs: How They Boost Literacy and Love for Reading

Summer vacation is a well-deserved hiatus from school, but it should also be an important reminder for students to keep their minds active and engaged. Here are some of the many benefits of summer reading programs!

Avoiding the summer slide

One of the main areas of concern for teachers and tutors is a phenomenon known as the “summer slide.” Put simply, students tend to “forget” a lot of the material they learned over the summer break – and this loss has been scientifically observed and measured. In fact, students can effectively “lose” months of knowledge due to the summer slide, with the highest amount of loss being observed in math subjects. 

Teachers are no stranger to this phenomenon, either – research indicates that after summer vacation is over, teachers spend roughly a month reteaching students material from the year prior to make up for this learning loss. Summer learning loss is a real concern for educators around the world – so what can parents do to tackle it?

Why summer reading matters

Students these days are reading much less, likely due to the prominence of electronic devices throughout our daily lives. Unfortunately, a recent analysis of over 170,000 participants showed that “screen reading was consistently associated with lower reading comprehension scores.” Another recent study of 470,000 younger students determined that “print is six times better at boosting comprehension skills.”

The data certainly seems to indicate that the act of reading physical books is highly beneficial to children. It just so happens that summer vacation is an ideal opportunity for parents to encourage their kids to take a break from their phones and tablets! Here are some helpful resources to encourage summer reading:

Summer reading challenge

Students naturally respond to fun challenges, and that’s exactly what the summer reading challenge is! We’ve compiled a list of recommended books for each age group, and parents can help to create a checklist of the books their student is most interested in. Depending on your student’s reading level (and enjoyment of reading), help your child set a goal for the number of books they’d like to accomplish reading this summer. For younger students, parents may even be able to read along with them! Check out Tutor Doctor’s Summer Reading Challenge for book recommendations.

Summer tutoring: a great option

Although students may have fewer responsibilities during the summer, this isn’t always the case for parents! For many families, work schedules may prevent parents from fully addressing the “summer slide.” Tutoring can be a great option to help students maintain the knowledge they learned throughout the previous year while preparing for the year to come! Learn more about how summer tutoring can benefit your child:

Want to get started? Check out Tutor Doctor’s picks for the best summer reading books!