Oh, the dreaded Summer Slide! This is something that both parents and teachers worry about and try to prevent. The summer slide phenomenon is where children experience a loss of academic skills and knowledge during the summer break when they are not actively involved in school activities. The good news is that parents can help prevent the summer slide while also making sure kids are still having a fun break. In this blog series, I will share tips on how parents can work with their kids this summer to prevent the dreaded slide.
Encourage your child to read regularly during the summer by providing access to books, visiting the library, or participating in summer reading programs. Set aside dedicated time for reading each day and discuss the books your child reads to foster comprehension and critical thinking. Even better, ask your child to choose 2 or 3 age-appropriate books to read over summer break. Then, when they have finished reading each book, ask them to prepare a short presentation on some of their favorite things about the books.
Create a Learning Routine
Establish a daily or weekly routine that includes fun, educational activities. This could involve setting aside specific times for practicing math, writing or other academic subjects. Not everything has to require a pencil and paper. There are many fun online math and reading programs and games to help keep kids’ skills sharp. Consistency is key, so try to maintain a regular schedule to keep your child engaged and prevent the learning gap from widening.
Keep Learning Hands-On
Consider taking a field trip to the local nature center to learn more about the plants and animals in your area. A family trip to a nearby museum will inspire your child’s inquisitive and creative side. Oftentimes, educational locations like these offer hands-on activities or even workshops that you can sign your child up for. At home, encourage your child to participate in hands-on learning experiences that are both educational and enjoyable. This could include science experiments, art projects, cooking, gardening, or other activities that stimulate creativity and critical thinking. These activities will open up a whole new world of exploration and potential interests for your child.
It’s important to remember that when we talk about summer learning activities, we don’t mean that kids should be tied to a desk and made to answer numerous questions, withholding their summer fun until they get their work done! When it comes to summer learning, little and often is the rule of thumb. By encouraging activities like the ones described here, you will be doing your part to prevent summer learning loss and preparing your child to confidently start the next school year.