While the summer learning loss statistics are stark, kids also need the mental break that comes with carefree summer days, especially now. Recent events, including the pandemic, have left many students struggling with mental health issues. Data from the CDC show that in 2021, 44% of teens reported feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and 9.2% of kids in America ages 3–17 suffer from anxiety.
While there are several fantastic summer school programs to support summer learning, kids don’t have to spend all of their summer days studying to combat summer learning loss. Studies found that students who spend just 2–3 hours per week engaged in educational activities, including summer reading, during the summer prevented summer slide. Reading just 4–6 books over the summer prevented a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall.
If you needed any more incentive to encourage reading during the summer, reading can also improve your child’s mental health, reducing depression, giving them a safe way to explore their emotions, and alleviating stress.
However, with the siren call of other summertime activities, parents may not know how to motivate their child to spend time reading over the summer.