a book open on a field of grass

School is out, and summer is finally here! This is a much-needed break for kids to recharge, enjoy free time outdoors, and have fun with family and friends. However, as they take in every moment, from sunrises to lightning bugs, it is a good idea for children to participate in summer reading programs. This will help them avoid the “summer slide” and keep their reading skills sharp, minds engaged, and momentum going at the start of their next school year.

If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose (Some of) It

Research strongly indicates that children who don’t engage in intellectual activities during the summer break are more likely to experience a decline in their academic performance, particularly in reading and math skills. In fact, according to a study by WeAreTeachers.com, kids in grades 3 through 5 lose about 20% of comprehension skills gained over the school year and 27% of their gains in math.

Additionally, not keeping your child’s mind active during the summer can decrease their motivation and enthusiasm for learning, which can have long-term consequences on their academic achievement and future career prospects.

4 Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading Skills on Track

Reading is an excellent way to keep your child’s brain engaged, improve vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills. So, how can you get your kids to pick up those books? Here are some tips to help make summer reading programs a bit more enticing and enjoyable:

1.     Create a Summer Reading List

Discuss the subjects they enjoy and then help them create a list of titles that cover them.

2.     Set a Reading Goal

Encourage your child to set a goal for the number of books they want to read over the summer and offer a reward such as dinner at their favorite restaurant or a memorable day trip somewhere of their choosing if they achieve it.

Regarding the benefits of summer reading, it’s less about the types of books and more about keeping their skills sharp and engaged. As long as the material is at their grade level or higher, choose captivating and fun books of various genres to help pique their interest.

3.     Share in the Experience

You can take turns reading aloud to each other or listen to them only read to you. You can also have a little “book club” where you read the same book separately and then discuss it over lunch or dinner.

childs tent made in bedroom with bed sheets and teddybears

4.     Create a Comfortable Reading Space

Set up a cozy, comfortable, and fun reading space in your home. Get creative with pillows, blankets, and good lighting to make a fun escape.

More Than One Way to Stay Sharp

In addition to reading, there are many other ways to keep your child’s mind active during the summer break, such as:


a small chalkboard with "I love LIHA" written on it

Summer Reading Programs: An Enjoyable Way to Prepare for the Year Ahead

At Long Island Hebrew Academy, we believe in the benefits of summer reading programs. By keeping your child’s mind active year round, you can help prevent that summer slump and continue to build on the progress made during the previous school year. Remember, every small step counts and even small amounts of mental activity can make a big difference in your child’s academic performance once the school year starts again.