You can’t make progress if you’re standing still. That’s why Reading Success Plus urges families to continue tutoring during the summer. Keeping up work over the break will propel students closer to their goals. 

This is the time of year when day care arrangements are being set, vacation plans are being finalized, summer camp signups are due, and summer jobs are being lined up. But even with all of that, parents should consider carving out time for academic growth. 

We understand the urge to put tutoring on the shelf for 10 or 12 weeks. All students are tired, and our students, who tend to struggle in school, are even more worn down by the time June rolls around. Understandably, they want a break – and parents do, too. 

That break will have its costs, however.  Those who skip tutoring over the summer can expect regression and lengthy review time in the fall just to get back to where they are now. They are forgoing the opportunity to get up to grade level more quickly. And they are extending the length of time they must stay in tutoring to achieve their goals.  

In contrast, a commitment to continue lessons over the summer means continued progress and a shorter path to the ultimate goal.  

“We find this to be a very critical window,” says Lawrence Kloth, co-founder of Reading Success Plus. “Students move faster through the program if they do the summer. If they don’t, then they don’t make progress as fast as they want.” 

Needless losses 

The biggest consequences of skipping summer tutoring are regression and lost time. Without some sort of intervention, almost every student will fall back during vacation — “the summer slide.”  For many youngsters, that intervention may be as simple as scheduled reading time, regular trips to the library, or math worksheets suggested by the school.  

However, most of our students have learning disabilities of some sort, as well as issues with working memory and short-term memory. Interventions for those students must be more targeted and more formal, and that means tutoring. 

Typically, students who skip tutoring over the summer will have to spend a couple of weeks, maybe more, reviewing past material. That time and money could have been spent making progress. Instead, it goes toward making up losses. 

Lost time goes beyond those first weeks in September. That two or three weeks iis in addition to the nearly three months in the summer that could have been devoted to learning. Given the amount of time it usually takes to get through the Barton Reading and Spelling System that Reading Success Plus uses, annual summer breaks could mean a student will be in the program for an additional year. 

“Nobody wants to be in tutoring forever,” Lawrence says. “For the sake of everybody involved, we want to make that time as short as possible.” 

A good time to learn 

Students who do attend tutoring during the summer often make progress more rapidly than they do during the school year. One reason is that their minds are in a better place during the summer when they are free of the pressures of school. 

“I understand some kids might not like being tutored in the summer,” Lawrence said. “But it’s a really good time for them to make up the gaps that they wouldn’t be able to make up otherwise because of all the stressors they have during the school year. No getting up early, not being forced to sit in class from 8 o’clock until 3, no homework to worry about afterward. They’re more relaxed, more rested, and better able to learn.” 

Another way to accelerate progress is through the intensive summer tutoring offered by Reading Success Plus. Students meet with their tutors four times a week for either four-week or eight-week sessions. That’s a great opportunity for students to catch up. 

“We can work on other programs, too,” Lawrence says. “For example, if you’re noticing your child who takes reading lessons is struggling in math, this is a good time to fill in those holes with math tutoring. There’s more time and less pressure.” 

The flexibility you need 

We understand the importance of your family’s summer activities. Some experiences are only available in the summer, and those experiences can be valuable, even life changing.  

“Kids may have travel sports, camps, theater or music or arts lessons, or other activities that really excite them.,” Lawrence says. “Summer is a great time for our kids to have the opportunity to explore what they want, what they need. There may not be time during the school year for that.” 

To get the most out of tutoring, we recommend at least two one-hour sessions each week. We stand by that, even in the summer. But if important summer activities make that impossible, one lesson a week might be enough to keep the material fresh in the student’s mind, especially at higher levels. Or, if necessary, a student could take a short break from tutoring altogether. Then, when the activity is over, we can go back to twice a week and keep moving forward. “We try to be as flexible as possible,” Lawrence says. 

RSP summer schedules also offer flexibility for lesson times. During the school year, most students are limited to roughly a four-hour window after school. In the summer, the whole day is available, subject to tutor availability. And of course, there’s always the choice of online or in-person lessons. If you’ve got internet access, tutoring can continue, whether the child is down the street at Grandma’s or sightseeing on the other side of the world. 

Ramp it up 

Of course, flexibility doesn’t just mean doing less. You can take advantage of summer to accelerate your student’s gains through our intensive summer tutoring

This program offers one-on-one tutoring four days a week, in person or online, in reading and spelling, math, or writing and grammar. Sessions run Monday through Thursday and are four or eight weeks long.  

Students can do one hour-long session a day or two sessions in different skills. This program starts June 10. 

“This is a good opportunity for students to make up a lot of ground quickly,” Lawrence says.  

And of course, families always have the option of staying on their twice-a-week schedule. 

Long-term investment 

Frankly, the idea of skipping summer tutoring can be tempting. It’s nice to have a break. It opens the schedule for activities. And it can save a good bit of money. But in the long run, families won’t regret the time and resources they put into summer tutoring. 

“You’re making an investment in the future of your child,” Lawrence says. “This increases the chances of success in school. It will help them get into the college or trade school they want. Whatever success may look like for them, we don’t want them to be hindered by struggles with math or reading.”

Finally, summer tutoring moves the student closer to the goal of completing their program. 

“Parents are very anxious about how long these programs take, and it is a long time. But if you tutor over the summer, I guarantee it will be shorter. If you don’t do it, it will take longer to accomplish what you want to do.” 

Reading Success Plus has offices in Grand Rapids and Troy and offers one-on-one tutoring online or in person in reading, math and writing. You can get more information at To contact us, call 833-229-1112 or go online to