I’m not one to worry too much about academics. My kids do reasonably well in school, have fabulous teachers and are engaged in many learning activities outside of school hours.
But according to every teacher I’ve ever talked to, summer learning loss—otherwise known as the summer slide—is real. According to a report released by the RAND Corporation, as reported in the New York Times, the average summer learning loss for American students is one month per year in both reading and math. And that learning loss is cumulative, meaning that students don’t make up for it in subsequent years.
What helps, according to the study? Good summer programs, parental involvement and smaller class sizes.
We can’t give you the latter, but we have developed two tools to help you challenge your kids to read more this summer, while providing a fun family activity that will keep everyone searching for their next great book: a Summer Book Scavenger Hunt and a Summer Book Treasure Hunt!
What are the Summer Book Scavenger Hunt and Summer Book Treasure Hunt?
Make reading fun this summer by challenging your kids to find books that they want to read! We created two challenges that let kids drive their own reading choices, while encouraging them to read a broad range of books. The point isn’t to read as many books as possible, it’s to find books that they enjoy reading. There are two choices:
- The Summer Book Scavenger Hunt provides a list of summer themes that kids can search for in books. From days at the beach to barbeques to family time, kids will be challenged to search for books that bring summer to life.
- The Summer Book Treasure Hunt is all about searching for medal-winners or honor books. We provided a list of some of the top honors in children’s literature and challenged kids to find a book from each list that interests them.
Complete the Book Hunts, Get Book Swag!
Every adult/child pair who reads at least 15 books from either the Summer Book Scavenger Hunt and/or the Summer Book Treasure Hunt (or a combination of both) and sends us a copy of their book list will receive book swag from Lu and Bean Read. Sign up to learn more!
How to use the Summer Book Scavenger Hunt and Summer Book Treasure Hunt
Here are some ways to use the checklists:
- Encourage your child to read a variety of books: Read picture, chapter, middle grade, or young adult books. Or a combination!
- Search for references: For the Summer Book Scavenger Hunt, the books your child chooses can be about the topic noted, or can just mention the topic. Once children are reading novels, they are more likely to find a reference to a topic than to find an entire book about the subject.
- Let your child read what they enjoy: Find books your child wants to read and check off subjects/award winners as you go. As the summer progresses, your child might be motivated to search for books that will help them complete the list!
- Encourage your child to broaden their horizons: Encourage your child to read what they like, but also to stretch their reading horizons. The Summer Book Treasure Hunt in particular is designed to introduce your child to the best of the best in children’s literature—we think you’ll find some gems if you mix in books from that list!
- Mix in some classics: No matter which list you and your child choose (maybe both?) mix in some classics with new releases. Dig deep on the Newbery and Caldecott lists—you’ll find books that are just as relevant today as they were years ago.
- Read from one list or both: This is meant to be a no-pressure challenge. The point isn’t to read every category on the list, but to continue to search for new books that will keep reading fresh throughout the summer months.