Summer on a beach The summer holiday months and how our children spend this time can have a long term impact on their academic outcomes. There is mounting evidence that some children are more likely to lose valuable literacy and numeracy skills they have established or lose opportunities to improve vulnerable skills during the long summer break. We call this the SUMMER LEARNING SLUMP.

Summer Reading Loss refers to the decline in children’s reading development when they are far away from the classroom and not participating in formal literacy programmes. The two most vulnerable groups of children at risk here are children from low socioeconomic homes and those having reading disabilities or difficulties. The summer reading and learning loss for these children can be significant. All children, however, are at risk here.

Summer Slump can be avoided or reversed when children participate regularly in high quality summer learning experiences. The holiday period gives parents a chance to support their children’s literacy growth by fostering areas that they are interested in and motivated to read about. For example, your child may have a deep interest in horses. Researching on the computer and gathering books about horses and reading them together could be followed by making a booklet to take to school in the new term. Talking together and working together will help with their oral language development. Helping them to make a project will keep handwriting, grammar and spelling skills maintained over the holidays.


Get your child to write and read about their heroes, sports events and family outings and holidays in a holiday diary. Create word puzzles and do word finds together. Let them write shopping lists, emails to family members and poems and jokes to share. Stick them on the fridge for a while to let them have meaning and to share with an audience.

Most importantly encourage “reading mileage “by reading quality literature to your child. The local library allows you to take a huge number of books out that will keep you and your child going for some time.

Discuss who are their favourite characters and why?
Make predictions about what is going to happen.
Ask if the story reminds them of any of their own experiences.
Look up unusual words in the dictionary.
Notice suffixes such as ed or ly endings.
Discover words with prefixes and find out what they mean. For example what is the meaning of the prefix tele at the start of television and telephone?
Most importantly enjoy stories together and let your children hear the tone and expression you use to give meaning to stories.

In past summer holiday breaks the Glamorgan School library allowed children to take out books for the holidays and was open in January for returns and to get more books out. Unfortunately, our library is having some significant building work over the holiday break and into Term 1. Consequently, the library is not opening in January as it has done previously.


Auckland Libraries however, are running their summer reading challenge again this year. They are offering Kia Maaia Te Whai – DARE TO EXPLORE over the summer holidays. Their programme is designed to encourage children to keep reading over the summer. This year it is based on a quest – to explore the three baskets of knowledge that Tane brought down from the highest of the Twelve Heavens. There are 60 challenges that can be completed at home, on holiday, at the library, on the internet and with friends. The Dare To Explore adventure starts from December 12th. You can pick up booklets at our local East Coast Bays library in Brown’s Bay.

A similar need to maintain maths learning is also evident. There are lots of everyday activities that can help maintain maths learning.


You can support young children’s understanding and confidence with maths by helping them to notice patterns, shapes, size, order and numbers wherever you are. Include mathematical ideas in their play, interests and everyday activities. Read stories and sing songs and rhymes that use numbers. Count as you walk or as you climb up and down steps. Spot numbers on letterboxes. What number comes next and what was before? Cook with your children and let them measure the ingredients. Shop together and count the items in the trolley. Build towers using building blocks. Match, measure and compare.

For older children there are many opportunities to maintain learning also. Read large numbers in your environment such as nineteen thousand, three hundred and twenty three. Ask them what 10 more or 100 less than that number is. Work out patterns and make codes from numbers. Plan for a special event and make a budget. Bake and follow a simple recipe such as pikelets. Tell the time regularly and use both analogue and digital times. Check 24 hour time at the airport and work out what that means. Work out the kilometres travelled by checking the odometer in the car. Play maths I SPY – something that is ½ a kilometre away, something shaped like a hexagon. Practise basic facts regularly.

How we support our children during the summer holiday will have a significant impact on how quickly they settle back to school in February and on how they begin their year. Let’s all work together to ensure that the children at Glamorgan enjoy their holidays but return to school ready and able for the challenges of a new school year.

LET’S AVOID THE SUMMER LEARNING SLUMP! 6360256862124313581519461746_elitedaily_melsthatgirl_lazysundays

From the Home/School Partnership Team