How to encourage summer reading

Tips on preventing the dreaded summer slide

Getting your kids excited about reading when school is out isn’t easy. Summer is viewed by many as a time for children to take a break from the rigors of school. And we agree – let your child decompress and recharge. They deserve a break.

But this summer, do your child a favour: along with lazy nights and early cartoon mornings, trips to the playgrounds and parks, be sure to throw in a few good books along the way. After all, the last thing you want is for your child to return to school with a bad case of the summer slide.

What is the summer slide?

The summer slide is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer. Numerous studies show that children who don’t read during the summer holiday slip in reading ability by the time autumn arrives.

But as parents, we don’t need studies to tell us this, do we? It happens in all types of situations. If your child plays the piano, for example, but stops practicing for six weeks, his or her skills will decline more than the skills of a child who continued to practice over the summer, right?

The summer slide is definitely not the type of slide you want your child playing on. So what can we do to avoid this common problem?

How to beat the summer slide

Here’s the secret: keep learning all summer long! Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw your kid into a 9-to-5 reading programme.

As you can see in the infographic, you don’t need to hire a tutor to get the job done. The key is to create opportunities for learning, ie find a healthy balance between summer climbing and sliding. The goal should be to have your child rested and recharged, but also ready for the start of another great year of learning.

Learn & explore in Basel this summer

Sticking around Basel this summer? Be sure to make the most of all the excellent education-focused resources the city has to offer:

Natural History Museum of Basel: houses collections focused on the fields of zoology, entomology, mineralogy, anthropology, osteology and paleontology.

Basel Paper Mill: dedicated to paper-making, the art of book printing and writing in general.

Botanical Garden at University of Basel: features a widely diverse range of plant life inside four different greenhouses and one outdoor site.

Basel Zoo: known as one of Switzerland’s oldest zoos.

Spielzeug Welten Museum: displays over 6,000 dolls and teddy bears in detailed miniature settings.

ALL Basel GGG libraries: offer an excellent selection of English reading material.

From all of us at Open Door Basel, we hope the summer is a great one. Enjoy the weather, the many things that Switzerland has to offer, and we will see your children in August!

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