Stop The Summer Slide

It’s summertime, school is out, and it’s time to relax and enjoy life a little bit.  But in the backs of our minds we’re wondering: How can I make sure my kids don’t lose academic skills over the summer break?  What is this Summer Slide I hear so much about?

The truth is that all kids lose some academic proficiency during the summer months. Most kids lose math skills – about two months’ worth!  Kids don’t generally lose many reading skills unless they have learning problems or don’t have good learning opportunities during the summer – so we have to make sure we are providing those learning opportunities.

So what’s a parent to do?  Here are some general ideas:

  • Keep it fun, low-key, and child-directed.  Learning should not be a chore and it shouldn’t be a failure experience!  Summer is no time for drills and worksheets.
  • Use real-life experiences to reinforce academic concepts and skills.  Cooking, shopping, family travel, gardening, board and card games, lemonade stands – all these activities are opportunities to use reading, math, and writing skills in natural settings.
  • Provide learning opportunities based on your child’s interests and abilities.  Summer is a great time to go to museums, state and national parks, plays and concerts, and historical sites.

Next week we’ll talk about specific ideas for summer math activities.  Stay tuned!

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