Did you know that learners from preschool to college level suffer from something called “summer slide” according to research that dates back over 100 years? Summer slide, as it is called by teachers, administrators, and parents alike, refers to the loss of up to three months of academic progress over the summer months. This skill and content loss is due in part to slipping out of practice and/or forgetting what was learned. Thankfully there are steps that parents can take during those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer to help prevent this loss. Here are a few tips that can help your child avoid the summer slide.
- READ! The number one way to help your child retain reading and comprehension skills is to read every day during the summer. Gather list of great books that your child could enjoy throughout the summer and create a goal of reading a certain amount daily. These books should be “just right” meaning not too easy but not too hard to read for his/her reading level.
- Incorporate reading everywhere! Make reading a part of your daily activities such as reading: a menu, a recipe, comic books, signs, magazines, directions, journals, and even audio books on long car rides. Every chance you get… read!
- Take fields trips. One of the best things about summer is that you have opportunities to go on fun adventures. Whether it is the park, beach, museum, library, bike trail, sports field, or tidal pools, there is always a learning moment if you look hard enough. Ask your child why they think something happens or pose questions such as: “What would happen if…?” You would be amazed at how much learning and exploration can go on in the nature that is all around us.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Just like during the school year, children should practice some academic items. Use flashcards to give quick reminders of math facts, whether your child has mastered addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Make it fun by challenging family members to get them faster than your child. Maybe provide prizes at the end of each competition.
- Make math a part of your daily activities. Math can also be incorporated into daily activities such as using estimation, measuring when gardening, counting money and change at the store, budgeting when planning a meal, or fractions when following a recipe. Again make it fun and meaningful so they can use it before they lose it!
- Camps! Summer camps such as those dealing with STEM, robotics, or space camp can really help students keep up their love of exploration and experimentation. Consider finding a camp that can keep your child’s scientific brain active.
Get out there and enjoy the summer, but remember that learning is a part of your summer as well. We hope you all have a wonderful break and see you in the fall!