We made it to summer! Bring on the backyard barbeques, pool parties, and summer vacations. We count down the days for this time of year! Don’t get me wrong, summer is SUCH a special time for families. Some of our greatest childhood memories maybe include catching fireflies outside, watching fireworks, or going on a road trip. As a parent, I want my child to experience all of these things, but I also don’t want her to be blindsided walking into a new grade come the fall. Here are a few tips to avoid the “Summer Slide”.
1. READ. READ. READ
Find something that your child can read every day. This may look different from child to child based on their reading proficiency. Not only are books great, but look for non-traditional text as well. This could be reading comic books, the menu at a restaurant, recipes, you name it.
Another option is to visit your local library. This year I signed my daughter up for the summer reading program. Many libraries offer incentives and prizes for the number of books a child reads. For my soon to be first grader, the giant Scooby-Doo is enough motivation for her!
2. Keep up with Math
Another area that is susceptible to the summer slide is math facts. Elementary school students work diligently to master these by means of flashcards, timed tests, etc. When I taught in the classroom, I remember how the beginning of the year was spent reviewing, rather than starting new material.
For elementary-aged children, there are a number of websites with fun math games and activities. Some of my favorites are www.coolmathgames.com and www.mathplayground.com. One easy way to practice math facts is with an egg carton. This works well for addition and multiplication facts. Parents can write numbers on the inside of the egg carton and put two balls, dice, etc. inside. Have the student shake the egg carton, open it up, and either add or multiply the numbers inside.
3. Set Aside a Dedicated Learning Time
Find a time, preferably 30 minutes, where you and your child can work together. This can be time to work on summer workbooks, read, or complete a fun activity. Many children do well with having a schedule, even if it is in the summer.
4. Listen to Audio Books on Long Car Trips
It is beneficial for children of all ages to be read to. This can be a great time to find a new author or a new genre your child may be interested in.
What do you plan to do with your children to beat the summer slide?