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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

How do you encourage summer learning?

May 26, 2011

Many teachers find creative ways to keep kids learning over the summer. These efforts are fueled by summer learning loss research whose finding is clear: Children who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. Summer learning is loss is bad for kids, and it's especially bad news for kids who struggle during the school year.

The good news is that there are TONS of resources out there for teachers to share with families. Our Summer Reading Page page is a great place to start looking for resources. Featured resources include ideas for teachers to share with families, the 2011 Big Summer Read book lists, and a link to Adventures in Summer Reading, one episode in our series Launching Young Readers.

We've got directions for setting up a book swap for kids, specific Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia and a whole list of summer book lists!

As with any set of resources, review them carefully to determine what will work in your community, and with your readers. Balance recommendations for field trips with ideas for low cost outdoor explorations and activities that promote math and science at home. Consider including audio book suggestions as you're creating suggestions for summer reading. And don't forget writing! A pen pal can be a great way to motivate a bored child.

I'd love to hear what you have planned as a parent or a teacher to keep learning alive this summer.

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"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb