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“Summer slide” —  or “summer learning loss” — is a well-researched educational experience. When summer break comes, children leave their formal learning environment and many begin to slip backwards in their reading abilities.

An extended break from reading affects even strong readers. Struggling readers, especially low-income children, often don’t have reading resources during the summer and can suffer even more. By the end of fifth grade, these children are approximately 2 ½ years behind their more affluent peers in terms of reading ability.

Read our white paper on summer reading loss.


The Case for Lexile Measures in Summer

One reason that children don’t read enough over the summer is the challenge of finding books at their reading level that really interest them. Getting children more engaged in summer reading involves finding books with the right content and books at the right level for the student.

Through more than a decade of research, Harvard University professor James Kim, Ph.D., found that children’s reading abilities can actually grow over the summer when they read high-interest books in their Lexile range. You can see the results for yourself in his research paper, The Effects of a Voluntary Summer Reading Intervention on Reading Activities and Reading Achievement.

Educator Resources to Prevent Summer Reading Loss

Using Lexile measures, you can develop an effective low- or no-cost summer reading program that personalizes reading for each child, and helps children continue to grow as readers even during time off school.

MetaMetrics® regularly works with educators, schools and state departments of education to build successful summer reading programs and lists. Visit our Summer Reading Information page to learn more about making a summer reading list with Lexile measures.

Additional References & Resources

Fairchild, R. McLaughlin, B. & Brady, J. (2006). Making the Most of Summer: A Handbook on Effective Summer Programming and Thematic Learning. Baltimore, MD: Center for Summer Learning.

Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 227-268. EJ 596 384.

Summer Reading Program Research –